The Daves of Our Lives

By: Catie Anderson, curator of education on May 5th, 2021

I currently have three Daves in my life – my boyfriend, my best friend, and my work friend – and each of them deserves a medal for putting up with me for so many years. For the sake of this post’s storytelling clarity, I shall employ the same system I use in conversation: last names. Simpson is the boyfriend, Badesch is my longtime friend, and Jones is my work buddy.

A few weekends ago, on a cold and damp one, I kicked off the camping season with Simpson and Badesch at Buckhorn State Park. Spirits were high even if the temperatures weren’t as all three of us were recently vaccinated and eager to get outside. Our waterfront campsite would’ve been perfect for kayaking if the wind had been a bit more cooperative, so Badesch and I only took them out for a brief jaunt Friday evening. We still had fun. That’s one of the things about all three Daves I know; they have a tendency to make even unpleasant things pretty fun.

Buckhorn is close to the Necedah National Wildlife Refuge, which I was excited to share with Simpson and Badesch. The weather forecast diminished our birding forecast, but the wetland boardwalks afforded us noisy and close-up views of tundra swans on the water.

The Daves opted to move inside for our second night of “camping,” worried we’d be too chilly in our tents with predicted temperatures in the twenties. We rented a cabin nearby and that’s when Henry showed up. “Henry” is the name I gave to the “shabby chic” Polish Frizzle rooster (I think? I don’t know my chicken breeds) that wandered across the road to parade in front of our cabin. Not wanting to be a bad host, we offered Henry some of our popcorn and twice I scooped up the bird, depositing it back across the road to rejoin its flock… Henry marched right back over, so we enjoyed his company instead. I consider his visit a good omen for Birds in Art 2021.

Jones employed the “Dave-fun-factor” during last fall’s cold and rainy Birds in Art opening day. Posted under a tent alongside the Museum’s parking lot, Jones and I welcomed and managed visitors’ expectations, explaining how, thanks to the pandemic, our dozens of Birds in Art artist friends were absent that year. To pass the time, we played a few rounds of exquisite corpse and ate cookies, which made another cold, tent-related experience much more enjoyable.
Dave Jones celebrated his sixtieth birthday April 29, and I don’t know anyone else who throws up unenthusiastic peace signs for pictures like he does.

I hope any and all of the Daves in your lives are as much fun as mine.


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