Friday, December 18, 2009
A Story- part one
While I am still rummaging through my past and trying desperately to stay in the present I am full of thoughts about some of the older potters from my past.
Dorothy and Walter Auman keep playing in my brain.
I am trying to figure out where to start with them.
The Auman's were such a big part of my life.
They were friends of my grandparents so my memories of them and their son Walt Jr. go way back.
I remember thinking they were not like the friends of my parents who were city people.
My first memory of Dorothy Auman was out at the pond.
We had fished and then cooked out.
There was a bonfire and I was hanging around listening to the adults laugh and talk. I don't remember the conversation, but I remember being struck by Dorothy and Walter's laughter.
I remember thinking they were so different from the farm families who lived around the farm. They were a bit more wordily and lively.
I was taken back by Dorothy's out going personality, quick smile, good wit and her laughter.
Years later when I was 17 I would take my first solo trip to see my grandparents.
My mother walked up to me and said, " Go see your grandparents, you have some vacation time and they would like to see you."
She handed me the car keys and said , "we will map out the route."
It was my first trip alone, just me and the open road I was excited.
My mother's car was a Red VW camper. The one that popped up and had a refrigerator in it.
We all thought it was super cool and here I was taking it for a ride to the depths of central NC.
My mother was a High school math teacher, all the family and kids at school called the VW Big Red.
A double meaning since my mother was a redhead and not a small women.
Anyway, I took the keys and set off for the farm.
I made one stop over in Chapel Hill to visit with my Godfather and family then on the the farm.
This was the first time I would spend time alone on the farm with my grandparents.
Now, talk about being treated like royalty it was great fun.
My grandparents were great people who had traveled all over the world before settling back in Seagrove, or, I should say Whynot, to farm.
Even though there were cows to be taken care of and grass to be mowed we spent a lot of time out and about the nieghborhood and small towns.
One afternoon while I was there my grandmother and I stopped to see Dorothy in the pottery shop.
I have memories of Cole's pottery as a child and Seagrove Pottery, the Auman's shop, but this time it was different.
We walked in to find Dorothy in her usual place behind the wheel making pots and yes standing and talking.
I was looking around, really taking in the work for what I think was the first time.
There were several small rooms off to the left and I wandered through looking at bowls, mugs, teapots, plates, pitchers, jugs and pots, pots and more pots.
I walked back out to stand next to my Grandmother to watch Dorothy turn.
I looked at Dorothy at the pots she was making and a feeling, that even today I have a hard time describing, came over me so strong and powerful that I started to pass out.
My grandmother grabbed an arm, Dorothy shot out from behind her wheel grabbed the other arm and they both sat me in a chair, placed a coke in my hands and started fanning me.
I was embarrassed beyond belief.
Like two mother hens they felt I should go rest, but really the feeling was gone.
I have thought about this over the years.
I think that if I was in tune with a place deep within me I could have somehow seen how many times I would walk through that door, look at pots made by Dorothy and glazed by Walter.
It was as if my 17 year old self felt something there, on that day, that would be such a big part of my life.
In fact, if not for Dorothy and Walter and the many days and ways they influenced my life I don't know what direction I would have taken.
If I never moved to Seagrove what would I have done?
Who would I have been?
Would I have ever touched clay, become a potter?
This is just a beginning.
I have so much Dorothy and Walter in me.
I know there will be more.
Let's just call this part one.
I found this interview done with Dot and Walter In 1983
go over for a good read.