Between Shadow and Substance

It’s been a slow week in Nate-land.  He’s recovered nicely from his oral surgery, now back to chowing down on Crunchwrap Supremes. His days are spent drawing strip malls and, with much prompting from me, and equal amounts of growling by him, he’s starting to fine tune some Alpha Folks designs (which all have copyrights now, thank goodness).

The biggest news around here is that Karen and two friends have opened a shop right outside Cooperstown called Artists Off Main. There she’s selling the jewelry she makes under the name of Karen Katz Studio (formerly Quirky Works Studio). You know Nate loves building rehab shows, so he was very happy and excited to steam and strip wallpaper, install socket covers and other cool stuff. Even when his mouth was swollen and hurt, he was glad to be working on something besides his art.

Look at this strip mall timeline:

These types are among our favorites, Nate’s pictorial evolution of a shopping mall transformation. Karen picked it up from the kitchen table a few days ago.

“Nate’s making more timelines. I love these,” she said. Then silence.

“He put my shop in the picture!” He gave her a nice corner location too.

Karen was so happy that Nate thought of her, but also that his addition of Artists Off Main gave the store an imprimatur of reality.

That’s the funny thing about it. Having a shop has always been a goal of Karen’s. Her dream has become truth; Nate has turned that truth back into fantasy. He often has a loose grip on reality but seeing the most real thing in our world lately become part of Nate’s world is jarring. And wonderful.


About Jeff Katz

Jeff Katz is the former Mayor of Cooperstown, the “Birthplace of Baseball” and home to the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum. His latest book, Split Season:1981 - Fernandomania, the Bronx Zoo, and the Strike that Saved Baseball, (Thomas Dunne Books, 2015), received national attention, with coverage appearing in The New York Times, Chicago Tribune, Sporting News and NPR’s Only a Game, among others. Katz appeared on ESPN’s Olbermann and The Sporting Life with Jeremy Schaap and MLB Network’s MLB Now, with Brian Kenny. Split Season: 1981 was a finalist for the 2016 Casey Award for Best Baseball Book of the Year.
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