Friday the 13th: Meeting Duck-minded Folk And Riding The Dog

Trust E. Duck and me.
Friday the 13th. The clouds were giving way to the sun, and despite my frizzed-out hair I was pretty happy. Why? Because I was on my way to Duck Brand Duct Tape Company headquarters in Avon, OH, where I would meet Trust E. Duck and see (touch?) the giant rolls of duct tape that infuses my crafty dreams. 

My name in lights!
My time there was short, but I got to meet some great people. Of course, I only remember the first names (Melanie, Amanda, Bob, and Randy) of the Duck Brand folk. This is why I'll never make it in the corporate world (insert sad emoticon). The facilities were impressive and you got a sense of how much the company was part of the community of Avon. The annual Avon Heritage Duct Tape Festival took place last weekend and I'm sure it was a ton of fun. I couldn't attend this year, but I'll mark it on my calendar for 2015. 

As a person who crafts with, writes about, and makes art using duct tape, there are 3 things that I appreciate:

1. Young enterprising crafters. When I asked a gentleman sitting next to me who was the crafter among them, this young lady popped her head out and shook my hand. When I asked what she made, she showed me a well-crafted wallet and then gave me her business card! She goes by "Duck Tape Creations By Carlee" and can be found on Instagram: @ducktapecreationsbycarlee. 
Derek Ross, crafty artist
2. High school kids that combine art and craft. A young man named Derek Ross wore his duct tape vest with a portrait of a lion on the back. He made me wish that I took art class in high school instead of waiting 20 years to pursue an art degree. I hope to see more of his work in the years to come. 

3. Young artists that use traditional formats to shake up the art scene. Anna Dominquez, aka the queen of tape, is a duct tape painter. She creates paintings on stretched canvas using duct tape instead of paint. From afar you can't tell that her paintings are made with duct tape. And I think that's the difference: she creates with rather making something out of. And that subtle difference had me the moment I saw "The Joker" (her painting below). I am now stalking her (and so should you) on Instagram: @queenoftape. 

By Anna Dominquez (@queenoftape)

And now, just a quick story about my journey back home. 
I left the Duck Brand headquarters before 3 PM so I could drive back to Pittsburgh, PA. I was flying out of the Pittsburgh International Airport to go back to NYC, which sounds confusing since the Cleveland, OH airport is much, much closer. But I had my reasons, so I won't digress further from my story...
I reached the airport in less than 2 hours and had plenty of time to make a 6:10 PM flight. The only problem was that the weather in NYC was not cooperating (according to my family and friends, it was "biblical") and all flights on all airlines were cancelled. I called a friend who was patient enough to check Amtrak and Greyhound for a train or bus to NYC. (Again, I had my reasons to get home immediately instead of staying the night, but I won't bother with the long and boring details.) I missed the last train of the day (5 PM?? Really, Amtrak??), but there was a 7:15 PM Greyhound bus. I jumped in a cab and raced to the downtown bus station. Within 35 minutes I was waiting at gate 8 for the bus to NYC.
This was my first time "riding the dog" so I'm hoping that my experience is not typical of bus travel. Within the first hour we encountered a horrific highway accident that the bus driver had to tell us about ("A woman died, people. That's a fatality. We should all pray for her family..."). During the second hour, a child who gorged himself on White Castles burgers tried to run to the bathroom in the back of the bus. He made it past me, thank goodness, but never made it to the bathroom. I heard a wretch and a splatter, then spectators groaning. Needless to say, we had to get to a rest area for a little post-vomit cleaning.
Between the rest area and Philadelphia a young woman locked herself in the bathroom for 4 hours. There were multiple requests to "open the door" and "can I use the bathroom, too" and "I really have to pee". But the door remained shut until we reached Philly, where she ran off the bus and never looked back. Someone explained it to me because I was clueless: she was a meth addict and doing drugs in the bathroom. Since I have never done (nor have any intention to do) meth, I found this whole scenario quite shocking.
In the two remaining hours of my trip, I sat in my seat and waited for something to smack me in the head. Nothing did, however. The time passed without incident. But I am forever scarred! 

At least I have my goodies from Duck Brand. It was well worth the trip, dog-riding and all.