Halloween in Brookside / Adjusting the Lights at Sprint Center


Halloween tradition in Brookside to open up all the shops to rascals in costumes. I love teasing em.  We served as traffic cops out on 63rd and doled out candy in the gallery.  How many attend each year?  Hard to say, but we went through 1200 pieces of candy in two hours, if that’s an indicator.



Went down to Sprint Center early yesterday to fine-tune the sculpture and adjust the lights.  Was joined by the inestimable Ed Tranin, co-designer.  A Star photographer showed up and decided it was worthy of a front-page shot for the Metro Section.  Very nice of him.  Now, at last, the job is done–at least until we have to go back and clean the thing.

Missouri Town 1885



Spent morning preparing script for agents in LA. Spent afternoon with Brown Eyes at Missouri Town, a collection of antebellum homes, shops and cabins that bring together the feel of 19th century Missouri. A good place to stroll, talk, lie in the grass and look up at the changing leaves on the oaks and ashes. Still recovering from two years working, and writing, too damned hard. Time to let the spring refill.

One thing’s sure though: I never worked as hard as those folks in the 19th century. Man, what they went through just to put food on the table.

Rainy Day Books Signing for Michael Pritchett


Next Thursday, 11/1, we’ll be hosting a signing for Michael Pritchett, author of The Melancholy Fate of Captain Lewis, a novel. This is a Rainy Day Books Event. As I understand it, we already have about 70 RSVPs. Man, I’m glad the new classroom is finished. The gig starts at 7:00.

Michael, a sophisticated and deft writer, has written a powerful story that is structured around the fiery but unstable Meriwether Lewis, and how his life began disintegrating shortly after the Corps of Discovery completed their journey. He committed suicide a mere 3 years after he and William Clark made their celebrated return from the Northwest. The book has already been praised in the Washington Post, the St. Louis Post Dispatch, the Kansas City Star, and several other papers.  It’s published by Unbridled Books, at the helm of which is the incomparable Greg Michalson.

Great story well told. It should serve to remind us that disaster can often follow glory if the ego, and neurosis, are not kept in check.

Sprint Center Glass Sculpture: Final Shots

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These were taken yesterday by good old Chad Sogas, of KYDJ, as the sun was bringing the sculpture to life.  Nice shots.  What did it take to get this work in the air?

Glass Blowing: 500 hours

Engineering and Procedural Meetings:  60 hours

Coordination:  60 hours

Installation:  240 hours

Celebration for the Crew and Me at a Nearby Sushi Joint:  Priceless

Yeah, I wish they went up faster than that.  Maybe they will someday, but probably not in this life.

Glass Sculpture Installation at Sprint Center: Finis




Photos Above by Chad Sogas of KYDJ


All right.  At last the sculpture is finished, all 3000 lbs hanging from the ceiling, and my crew and I exhausted.  We’re lying low today, taking few calls, preparing to go to the gym and soak in the hot tub.  Business as usual again tomorrow.

It took 6 months to complete this piece, from the design phase, to the engineering issues, to the blowing of the first plate, to the hanging of the last.  Am I pleased?  Very.  How will the public respond?  I think similarly.  They’ll sense how the artists poured their sweat and talent into this thing; normally work of that integrity resonates well.

Again, the artists: Drew Hine, Jason Forck, Tom Bloyd, Janine Daniels.

Designers: Ed Tranin and meself.

Installers:  Jeremie Hoffman, Martin Cail, Denny Dorrell, Josh Dorrell, Ian Cook, and meself.

Thanks to everyone, including University of Kansas Hospital (who sponsored the piece), and Sprint Center.  Without that joint effort, this never would have happened.

Now for the sauna.

Glass Sculpture Installation at Sprint Center: Day 5




One of my installers fell ill today, so I filled in.  Hence:  

Top View:  Ably assisted by Jeremie Hoffman while trusting, at 40′ off the floor, that I rigged the freaking safety harness correctly.  Must have; it worked when I fell.

Middle View:  Interview (man, I guess I really do have a horse face).

Bottom View: 75% complete.

Glass Sculpture Installation at Sprint Center: Day 3

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Well, just as I figured, there were multiple headaches with getting new materials to conform to the design. Was this akin to imposing our will on others? No, more like imposing our will on our overworked selves. Either way, after getting the Ribbon to be behave, we finally were able to begin hanging glass.  Installers?  The right honorable Jeremie Hoffman, Martin Cail, Josh Dorrell, Denny Dorrell, Ian Cook, and meself.  Well, I’m not sure if I qualify as honorable, but anyway…

Glass Sculpture Installation at Sprint Center: Day 1


This rather boring shot doesn’t indicate much progress for a day’s hard work, but do you see that white ribbon near the top of the column?  Hanging that at the right configuration, and angle, was flat-out tough.  Before doing that we had to get the plywood decking in place, then the lift, then the tools, then bolt up a bunch of steel for all the cables.  After that, we finally were able to begin on the ribbon.

Why are the first sections so critical?  Because if the attitude isn’t right, the whole bloody thing will be off by several feet.  Can’t allow that.

Did we get enough done today?  Hardly; the first day on a big install is often like that.  Expect to make up for it tomorrow though, and start getting some glass in the air.