Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Challenge Met

The Lady in the Sewing Crafts Store must have overheard the conversation between us. For, she could not resist interjecting herself into it. My questioning … and YES I confess, perhaps more than just a little bit of challenging … my wife, was more than the Owner of the shop could bear. “Well, Sir, if you think that creating a design (as opposed to the completion of the repetitious background to a pre-stitched design), and accomplishing the cross-stitching of that self-generated design, is something that your wife should be eager to attempt … perhaps you, Sir, would like to make that attempt yourself.”

Well! Here I was. On “foreign” turf … out of my “guy element” … and being challenged … even DARED … by this Lady, who was obviously rising to the defense of one of her faithful (and profitable) Customers. “I will make you this offer, Sir,” she continued, “If you will create your own original design for a cross-stitched panel … I will give you … cost-free … all of the materials necessary to complete the panel. And, further, if you manage to complete the piece … and return here with it … I will block and frame it for you … again, for free. “

There it was … in my face … my young wife (this was somewhere around 1971, and we had been married for less than 4 years) and this Lady, who I had never, prior to this encounter, met … staring at me with determined faces and mutually flinty glares. Was I to fold under the pressure … acknowledge my error in speaking from a stance of uninformed and uneducated ignorance … back down and surrender to this challenge of the ‘merits’ of my opinions as earlier, so strongly stated? Not no … but HELL NO!

So I looked about for some inspiration for an idea of a, yet undreamed of, ‘design.’ And my eyes fell on the little pin that I wore in the lapel of my jacket. A ‘
*Reddy Kilowatt.’ The iconic image that bespoke the industry that I worked in … The Electric Company.

So, I told the Lady that I would create a Reddy Kilowatt cross-stitched panel. She asked what colours I would require … and made good on her offer of a bag full of materials … the likes of which I had never before set hand (or mind … if I had a mind at all) to.

Making this potentially long story as short as possible … I drew out the design … cross-stitched the panel … returned, with it, to the Shop … held it, victoriously, before the shop’s Owner … and she made good on her offer. She did indeed, as you can see, block and frame it … for free!

(Notice … the “Peace Sign” that I substituted for the Icon’s pointing finger.
Yes! I was a bit of a Liberal, Free Spirit, even then!
And … again, Yes! It does still hang on my wall. [Silly grin])

All of this long-ago memory came to the fore as I enjoyed the beautiful works shown so generously on SAHARA's site. (I visited there because I like to know as much as I can about those who compliment me by following the meanderings of my funky mind.) So, Dear SAHARA , please know that my appreciation, and enjoyment, of your creative gifts is substantiated, and to a small degree, validated, by a very small taste of actual “hands on” experience with something, at least remotely, akin to what you, so marvelously, do. [Smile]

Reddy Kilowatt is a cartoon character that acted as corporate promoter/spokesman, for electricity generation and usage, in the United States, for some six decades.

Reddy Kilowatt is drawn as a stick figure whose body and limbs are made of “lightning bolt " symbols and whose bulbous head has a light bulb for a nose and sockets for ears. Reddy was created at the Alabama Power Company by Ashton B. Collins, Sr., and debuted March 11, 1926. He was subsequently licensed by some 300 electrical companies in the U.S. and abroad looking to sell homes on using the relatively new technology. He was featured in a 1947 comic book and movie produced by the studio of Walter Lantz. Reddy Kilowatt was a frequent presence in publicity material until energy conservation replaced energy production as a national goal with the growth of the environmental movement and the OPEC oil embargo. He is now rarely seen. In 1998, Reddy was bought by Northern States Power Company, which created an entire subsidiary, Reddy Kilowatt Corp., to manage the cartoon.
The Facilities Maintenance arm of Temple University, in Philadelphia, still applies Reddy's image to vehicles equipped to perform high voltage maintenance work within the university.

(Edited) Source Article: Wikipedia


lime said...

that the woman of the store was so certain it couldn't be done by man or woman shows what a dolt she was. i began cross stitching when i was about 18. at 20 i had designed and cross-stitched 2 small projects to give as gifts. later, during each of my pregnancies i designed and completed 3 much larger, blanket sized designs for each of my children. the reason? i couldn't find patterns for the things i wanted to do so i made them myself.

also, my grandfather did embroidery and stamped cross-stitch as fine (sometimes finer) than any woman's. i don't know that he ever designed any patterns but he did beautiful work.

lime said...

p.s. sorry, i got lost in my rant....i do like your reddy kilowatt. he's cute!

John-Michael said...

A Rant!! You call that sweet bit of reflection a Rant?!! Oh, My Darling Mi OOPS! Lime, [grin] you might have been accosted by a genuine Rant if I had revealed the underlying seething disapprobation that I was giving vent to in that Sewing Shop. THAT, my Dear would have been a Rant.

To include, in this little tale, my bedevilment with all of the residual detritus from the Calvinist 'Enlightenment' that infected the world that was the Fundamentalist Protestant environment that I was raised in ... and was dominated by at the time of this stitchery story ... would, indeed, be a legitimate Rant.

To have told of my disgust with my wife's whining and moaning about all of the 'difficulties,' efforts, and supposed challenges involved in doing something that she truly enjoyed; found comfort and relaxation doing; and thoroughly liked ... (but couldn't say so because to do so would be somehow unacceptable and even 'wrong' for someone who was committed to a life of denying pleasure for "The Body" [for "The Body" is fleshly, and therefore "sin-filled" by nature] [YUCK!!] ... would have made my little story entirely too lengthy ... and unpleasant. And would have constituted a Rant. [grin]

Furthermore, I cannot speak of all of this here because to do so would take far too much room and space for a "proper" response to a 'comment.'

So ... I won't!

[I wish that you could see the silly grin that I now enjoy as I have an unabashedly good time doing this!!]

Love Ya Lime Darlin' ...

lime said...

i dunno, i guess mooning the sewing shop lady and your wife might have covered it too.

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