A Pair of Gatherings

November 5, 2022

Dear Family, Friends, and Diary,

Truth be told, we don't do much. Maybe it's Covid that has pushed us from crowds, or maybe just the (shudder) aging process. Whatever. Nevertheless, sometimes we do gather and on this November day we had TWO places to go: a house birthday and a collection of trash.

front1922 newsFirst, the birthday. Our Cambridge Avenue block has a number of wonderful old-for-California homes and on November 5th we celebrated the 100th year of one. Craig and Ellen Middleton opened up their home, named The Routt Home for the first owners, to family, neighbors, and a few folks who had lived in the place 60 or 70 years ago.

Residents, former and current, told stories of the old place and the neighborhood over the years. It seemed to have held only positive memories and that vibe showed through on the birthday. Lots of happy pictures.

Ellen pictures Craig
small group table steps
laughs cameras chat
seniors hosting
family styling laughing
seniors again hosts

Our second Saturday event was very different from our Cambridge neighbor house centenary. It was a celebration of trash. Really.

The Fresno Art Museum (FAM) produced Regalia, a TRASHIQUE© fund-raising fashion show where the styles were created, literally, from street-found leftovers. (I'm not sure where the original idea came from, but the name is copyrighted by a local designer: Roseanne Guaglianone.) It's a good cause and definitely had us getting out of our normal, do-nothing weekend evenings.fire entertainment

seatedThe runway was set up in a church parking lot, covered and organized to provide a relatively Covid-safe space. The last FAM TRASHIQUE©, in March of 2020, was an early victim of pandemic protection so the organizers were being careful on this cool Fall evening. They even provided hot entertainment as we waited for the show.

The fashion show included nine "scenes", each done by volunteer designers in the style of an artist from around the world. My iPhone photography could not keep up with all the color and variety but here are a few shots to give an idea of how imaginative trash can be arranged.

first group single

Marianne even had a connection with one of the groups, a scene called Kusama in honor of a Japanese artist who has had a major impact on 20th Century sculpture and installation art. Marianne's hairdresser Michelle modeled a blue and yellow outfit created from an old tarp, paper plates, and paint.

Michelle MancillasKusama

curtain call

After an on-stage curtain call, all the volunteer organizers, designers, models, and makeup and hair teams mingled with the audience, explaining the outfits and the complex process needed to put on such a show. We chatted with Michelle and Duran, Marianne's makeup purveyor, and their enthusiasm was a fitting end to our evening out.

We'll have to do this again!

Stay tuned,

John and Marianne