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Gordy Rides the Rails

Gordy Rides the Rails
Gordy Rides the Rails

Gordy Rides the Rails | Oil on Canvas | 1999 | 12"h x 22" w

This is a painting of a friend of mine I met at The Hard Times Cafe in Minneapolis.  It's a fantastic cafe filled with punks, professors, homeless folks, students, and hard core Christians (at least that's what the sign out front used to say.) It's one of my favorite Cafes ever.  It's filled with such a great variety of beautiful people and it just feels like a place a person can be real.  Plus, they make fantastic vegan and vegetarian food. Anyway, Gordy was one of the first people I met at Hard Times.  He was a character.  The night I met him, he was talking with a guy named Railroad Randy. They were telling stories of riding the rails- hopping trains.  It was very entertaining to hear these fellas talk.  I was at first pretty intimidated by Gordy- he had a loud and gruff voice, but after I got to know him, I saw what a sweet man he was.  We hung out and talked a lot when we would meet up, and after awhile, he started calling me his daughter.  It was really sweet.  Gordy was always at Hard Times, it felt like he owned the place. At some point Hard Times made "Hard Times Money" where you had to pay a dollar to get a Hard Times Dollar to ensure people were buying something and not just hanging out.  Gordy's face was on the bill.  He had a certain spot where he would sit in the back of the cafe by the piano. Gordy passed away some years after I had met him and I painted this painting in honor of him.  It (hopefully) still hangs at Hard Times in the spot where he used to sit.  R.I.P. Gordy- I miss you!

Did you know Gordy?  If so, I'm sure you have some great stories to pass along.