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Sunday, November 17, 2013


    We've got a lot of characters in Coconut Grove.   They come together at local events like today's Mad Hatter's Arts Festival.  One of my favorite characters is the Hatter's Queen of Hearts, Liz Gibson.
 If you walked through the village today you probably saw her hawking painted rocks on Main Highway.   "My designs are all original", she told me, "And every rock is special too". 
  She gets most of her smooth stones from rock businesses but added,  "Friends get them for me too.  I tell them stealing is wrong".    
   Liz cautioned me not to buy rocks from Home Depot, "They chip too much.  Your painting is ruined".


For twenty-six years Liz worked for the county's water and sewer department.  Now, she raises French bull dogs and paints rocks.  

She combines the two interests when customers ask her to memorialize a departed dog or cat in stone. 

  Today, she spent the day on the sidewalk in white face, blue eye lids, and the bulging red headpiece that made it seem like her brain was popping out.  

    Liz complained that her poofy hat was hot, 
"I should take it off.  My hair inside is pink now, just as strange as the hat.  My significant other tells me it looks like cotton candy.  I don't care.  Pink is me".

Moving on to the next booth,

    My Most Amazing Hat Award went to artist, Audrey Scott.  We're old friends.  We once taught at a school for at-risk kids.  
    Now Audrey paints (canvases, not rocks) and creates stained-glass designs.  If I were her I'd sell hats too.  As you can

 see, Audrey's was the maddest of hats
 (this one began as a lamp shade). 
  As I headed home to write I thought how wonderful it is to live in a village with so many colorful, creative people,  folks who don't mind donning a mad hat now and then.

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