Tuesday, April 20, 2010

A Moment Frozen in Time

We were on vacation in scenic and hideous Gatlinburg, Tennessee. This hill billy mecca that serves the dual role as gateway to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and as a leading provider of themed miniature golf courses.

It is a time-honored tradition in these parts to put a personal stamp on your vacation, to capture these fleeting moments of travel bliss. You can find all manner of souveneirs to bring home and muck up your home. There is also a tradition of artisanal craftsman creating objects of beauty and utility with their bare hands. You have your broom makers, your wood carvers, your glass-blowers, and, best of all, your air brush t-shirt artists.

You can't mistake an airbrush t-shirt. You have the gentle lines, the ephemeral colors blending together into a harmonious hazey scene. The half-cursive script says, "Heck yeah, I'm on vacation. Pass me a Buddweiser." And, unlike the mullet, it is all party up front with nothing on the back.

An airbrush t-shirt captures the essence of the wearer.Whether you want to convey your political beliefs about medical "herb" usage, extoll the virtues of your southern heritage, or announce that you do indeed enjoy hunting the most dangerous game, deer, this is much more than a simple souveneir.

The airbrush t-shirt does not come cheaply. This is a commissioned piece of artwork from a trained expert. Hold on to your wallet because buying the plain shirt and compensating the artist for his supplies and work can exceed $25. You obviously wouldnt' want every item in your wardrobe to be an airbrush t-shirt, mainly due to the cost, but splurging every once in a while is a good idea.

That brings us back to our vacation. We were happy to commission little Mikey (known to some as Mad Dog) his very first precious, custom-made airbrush t-shirt. The shirt is spectacular, and you don't see too many like it around these parts. Most Austinites are content with their mass-produced Chinese factory apparrel. Pffft. Now, if I can just figure out how to wash the darn thing.


Harriet Bowden said...

Hi! I am Shannon's 2nd cousin, Harriet. Wish I had known you guys were going to be in the area -- we live in Knoxville, TN (not *quite* as much a hillbilly mecca as Gatlinburg). I enjoy reading your blog, especially as we have a son, Alex, very close in age to your Mikey, and appreciate many of the (ahem) more interesting baby and toddler experiences you recount. And I second the idea of your writing a book. Hope Mikey enjoys his custom airbrush T!

Chris said...

It's great to hear from you! I'm sorry we missed you on the trip. We actually drove through Knoxville briefly on the way in and out of town. We definitely want to come back and do more hiking in the smokies, so we'll try to get in touch.

I hope you are having as much fun with your little guy as we are. I appreciate the kind words!