Thursday, August 18, 2005

Limping Toward the Finish Line

I feel like I just flew in from Westworld. Last night I yanked, ground and welded steel reinforcement bars into the contours of running horse bodies and man do my arms hurt. It’s three in the afternoon and I’m still coughing up metal dust.

My suffering is only a doodle on the pain schedule the other cowgirls working on this project filled out last night. (See "With Their Manes In Flames," June 2005 Archives for some back story.)

Buddy Dorth has full upper-body weld burn (like sunburn but less healthy) and her collaborator, Miss Eli, is likely passed out on the subway from lack of sleep.


They’ve been working feverishly (i.e. aching, exhausted, delirious) over the last two weeks to complete and ship a team of iron horses to Nevada.

A container headed for the Black Rock Desert where the annual Burning Man Arts Festival www.burningman.com will take place next week leaves tomorrow morning. Either they load the finished horses on that wagon or they herd them out there themselves.



When I left late last night, one of the horses was rocking on it’s back, headless, legless – a nightmare in every sense of the word.

I’ve heard the strongest friendships are forged in foxholes. I don’t know about that but metal shops must come pretty close. Intense psychosomatic strain and a daily sweat bath can really draw out the essence of a person.

Let me testify that, not once to my knowledge, did either of the torch-wielding ladies forging those three-ton doggies – or Mr. Ed, the guy who did much of the early planning and heavy lifting – snap in the blowtorch light and fail to be kind.

With 24-hours left to go, and all three horses to mount (on steel plates), dress (in black rubber skins) and corral in the back of a massive tractor-trailer, they’re headed for that high-stakes terror zone where the good snap, the bad get ugly, and the ugly bag on the whole deal.


My gut feeling is that this posse will emerge from their Brooklyn garage in the morning light, battered but unbroken, trailing their horses behind them.

If you plan to be out at Burning Man this year, check out the horses, named Id, Ego and Superego in honor of this year’s psyche theme.

Thanks for the photos Bill!

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posted by cherrybomb @ 8/18/2005 03:52:00 PM |

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