Saturday, February 5, 2011
Baltimore Bon Vivant Linda Franklin Celebrates Her 70th Birthday By Channeling Her Grandmother Grace at Show and Tell
With breasts stuffed with blackeyed peas and exhorting the crowd to "Smell my purse!!", Baltimore artist and gadfly, avatar of Robert E. Lee dog park, Linda Franklin celebrated the milestone of her 70th birthday taking a packed crowd in Minas on a trip through her eyeballs and heart and through time itself.
And just as the presence of the Elvis Impersonator was too powerful to glimpse clearly with modern technology, so too the image of Linda summoning the spirit of her long gone grandmother.
If you have ever met Linda you not only remember it, but you lose any belief in linear reality. Former writer of books on antiques and kitchen collectibles? Wood nymph of Robert E. Lee. Filmmaker. Folk art collector. Raw nerve open receptor of wonder 24/7.
It was a Boite: Show and Tell night hosted by the enigma known as Lauren Bender at the ever friendly and well curated Minas shop and gallery. Two of the showers on this night were Linda who was turning 70 and radio star Aaron Henkin. Linda celebrated her birthday by inhabiting the clothing and spirit of her grandmother, Grace, having Grace tell us about her own life at the age of 70. It was a moving and illuminating look at her family and at her childhood with Linda right there feeling it. After the show she was dj'ing at a party down the street where she promised the crowd "There will be funk". One day I hope to have a satori that fills me with half the energy that she contains. Truly she has supped at The Cup of Borgnine.
Dr. Henkin of The Mellifluous Pipes took us back to his early days in Baltimore when he and his pal Todd started up a heavy metal band called Destroyer 666, a name they found out was already taken by an Australian white power heavy metal band. The moment of truth came when Aaron unveiled the flying V electric guitar he purchased after Destroyer 666's first gig. Not only did it have devil horn's at the head, but it rested in a coffin shaped pleated purple cloth lined case. I for one was relieved that it wasn't the shrunken cold corpse of Andy Bienstock revealed when Aaron with a leering smile swung open the lid of the case.