Steel, Rednecks and the Ozark Music Fest




Hung structural steel last week with some local ironworkers. This is for the huge glass sculpture that I discussed Last Month. Can you guess where it is?

I hung the first beam with the ironworkers, since I wanted to make sure I was happy with the elevation/attitude. After all if the glass doesn’t hang right, it’s my fault. You won’t be able to see this structure from the floor; it’ll all be hidden by blown glass. Either way the steel guys cracked me up. Here’s a typical exchange.

“Where’s the chain-fall I left here yesterday?” I said, speaking to the supervisor.

“I don’t know. Some jackass took it.”

“Well, don’t you think you oughta find it?”

“Well I don’t know where the f—k it went.”

“Well that ain’t my g–amn problem. You guys are the ones running the show. Find the mofo. We can’t hang without it, and I damn sure didn’t rent it to give to someone else.”

“All right.” Supervisor looks over his shoulder to one of his grunts. “Go find the mofo.”

They found it. We hung the steel. All’s cool. Yeah, I know this is typical construction lingo, but somehow it works when we’re on site. We don’t talk that way off the job.

Bottom photo is of me with Art, their supervisor. Hell of a guy. Full of stories. Went to the Ozark Music Fest in Sedalia, July of ’74. In a Winnebago. I can just see that rolling party. 350,000 people. Music and mayhem. Eagles, Arrowsmith, Bruce Springsteen, etc. A lot of my friends went too, came back sunburned and strung out. Me? I went high diving with some buddies at a Missouri quarry called Blackwater. We were just 17, but had seen enough concerts and overdoses. It was better somehow to spend the weekend piercing clear blue water from the heights, and telling stories by campfire.

I think we’re going to call the sculpture Art for Art’s Sake.

4 thoughts on “Steel, Rednecks and the Ozark Music Fest

  1. From the outline of the wall, I’d say it’s the Sprint Arena.

    Drove through Blackwater years ago – a whole band of gypsies camped there. Cool place.

  2. Sprint Arena? What Sprint Arena?

    Yeah, Blackwater always did attract gypsies of a sort. Saw a lot of characters pass through there on summer weekends. The sherriff eventually shut it down; too many drunks getting hurt on the cliffs, then later a couple of drownings. Dangerous place. But lord I miss the unsupervised freedom of it.

    As I recall, the weekend of the Festival there was a lot of nudity. You might say it was infectious.

  3. Paul get a hold of me at the eamale address I want to see if you have any pictures willing to share of the Ozark MUsic Festival I was there to

Leave a Reply