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Do Over

July 12, 2003
Journal Entry By Wes Stone

This is my first guest entry in Winterbird's journal, but Leslie asked me to write something about how we, three, spent our day on Saturday. I think she did this because she doesn't want to deal with Saturday or even admit that it happened, but it didŠand I have the pictures to prove it.

You'll remember, if you've followed the story thus far, that Saturday was to be the little bird's day to fly the Grey Garage coup. It started promisinglyŠthe rental pickup went very smoothly, though we couldn't get our same hulking machine with the New York license plates. Rats! That was an amazing rush of power and abandon! Our SUV du jour, a Bronco, was sort of fun though - once I figured out how to tell what gear I was in. Being early morning for both of us (before 10:00 am) it was a trial nonetheless, and we had to make an emergency stop for coffee on the way home. (Mental note: we must find one of those bee sting injectors to be filled with caffeine.) Having got our fix we headed to the studio to load up the bird for his trip to Prince George's County. All went very well, except the little beast wouldn't stay wrapped in his blanket.

Seeing and Dealing with the Awful Truth

We finally just carried him out unwrapped and set him in the sunlight for a moment to admire Leslie's work. And then, well, it turned out to have been a very bad thing to have done! The bird, which had appeared so smooth and blue, his back and feathers skillfully blended and even at the preview on Friday, suddenly, when viewed in the bright sunlight outside the studio, appeared splotchy and blotted - really splotched and blotted. Trying to be positive (it was post coffee) I attempted to convince Leslie (and myself) that it wasn't going to show really. Making a long, a very long discussion short for your benefit, I wasn't successful. We both knew that Les couldn't let her bird go out to the big wide world looking less than its best. A quick phone call to the PG sponsors affirmed that the likely spot for the little bird would indeed be in bright sunlight. Decision timeŠto deliver the bird, knowing that it was less than as good as it could be, or to somehow redo it. You know the answer, if you know Ms. King. And so, Winterbird still resides in Southern MarylandŠat least for the time being.

The Masking Processes
Leslie handled it all very well, a quick discussion followed by a plan to make the repairs and then off to work. Whirlwind trips for supplies, my painting clothes and a mostly liquid lunch (which was not an option, but a necessity) and we were back at the studio ready for work. My plan, admittedly optimistic and the lazy approach, didn't work well at all. Rather than strip the little guy entirely, Les opted for a middle of the road approach and, after masking his eyes, beak and base, over painted him entirely. We knocked off early on Sunday morning, having accomplished all that could be done till the new coat of blue dried. And so, what will tomorrow bring? The beginning of the process of redoing all the gold and silver of gilding and snowflakes, I expect, and the realization that we two can spend nineteen hours together under stressful conditions and not do each other in! Many thanks to The Lonestar Saloon!
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Checking Our Mask