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September 25, 2018

ballard metalshop pano - bunch of
                                  crusty dudes

First met Tom Stempel back in the old Fremont Fine Arts Foundry days. The Foundry was a lively, working live/work space back then, the brainchild of Pete Bevis, the impresario who brought the Kalakala back to Seattle. The Kalakala was scrapped, the Foundry is now a catering hall, and Pete Bevis moved away (possibly has passed). But some of that DIY can-do spirit lives on in Ballard, tucked away on an asphalt patch at a shipyard in the shadow of the Ballard Bridge, an aggregation of artists and tradespeople occupying a makeshift compound of converted shipping containers. At house parties, people gather in the kitchen; here, crusty dudes gravitate to the metalshop--oldtimers Tom Stempel (briefly visiting from Hawaii), Steve, and Chris, newcomer Jeff (a fabricator who works across the street), and me, the witness. On a break from boozing, I'm seeing things a little more clearly. I watched from across the way as someone by the burn barrel took a long drink, head tilted back as if playing a bugle to greet a glorious dawn. The longer he held it to his lips, the more I could see the bottle was taking something in return.