Saturday, April 26, 2008

On to the Last Round

I stopped by Magic Carpet Golf on Thursday after work. Unlike last time, the place was far from deserted. Volunteers were finishing up preparations for Saturday's fundraiser, "One Last Round," to benefit a bizarre local landmark called Valley of the Moon. I really need to get to that place someday.

One reason I went back over to Magic Carpet on Thursday was that this week's Tucson Weekly had articles on both Valley of the Moon and Magic Carpet Golf. The latter article said that volunteers trimmed the foliage and painted the sculptures last weekend in preparation for the benefit. Sure enough, I noticed immediately that the snake was much more colorful than before. I wish I could say it was an improvement, but really, it kind of looks ridiculous in pink and purple. Ah, well. Nor was everything painted. The monkey still had bare spots, but was as lovable as ever.

I made my way around the side and to the back, taking pictures of everything I could see. A teenager was painting the Sphinx, and the alligator (crocodile?) was bright green. The giant skull was bright white, and the Buddha...well, that looked a little odd, actually, but it's hard to get close enough to photograph it.

Around the back I noticed this bike rack. I never did quite figure out what the head at one end is supposed to be.

The front and back gates were open so that the volunteers could get in and out. I struck up a brief conversation with a man about the painting of the sculptures. He told me that volunteers last weekend pretty much haphazardly picked the ones they felt like working on, including these ghosts. "But oh, well," he said. At least some of the painting got done. "And there will be an art auction here on Saturday," he told me, not for the giant sculptures but for donated paintings and such.

Back around the front, I didn't dare walk onto the property, but I did take more photos. And I found another major sculpture I'd missed before, this sort-of kachina. It was probably hidden behind foliage last time.

And the Easter Islandish tiki/stone god figure was looking much better. The graffiti had been cleaned off and the eyes were lit, as indeed they were on most of the sculptures. It turns out that moving them to new homes is going to be harder than they thought, because they aren't designed to stand up to being moved. One woman I talked to expressed hope that the tiki figure will make it to Fourth Avenue as planned. "It belongs there," she said, because the Fourth Avenue crowd will truly appreciate it.

During One Last Round, there will be a disc jockey stations on top of the head; nobody else will be allowed to climb up. She doubts that climbing will be allowed at the statue's never home, either, since it would be "an insurance nightmare." Still, there's a chance that the new owner, Doug, will let us get away with it, if and when it reaches Fourth Avenue, based on past acquaintance. The woman (my apologies for forgetting her name!) also said that the stone god figure was never officially a tiki, or even an Easter Island statue. "Its real name is Stoneface," she told me.

I seem to have blown my chance to register for a round of golf tomorrow, but there's a good chance I get get a walk-in slot tomorrow afternoon. And yes, you can bet I'll bring my camera.


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