Jay King Design Inspirations from New Mexico and Australia
Well September is upon us once again. This happens to be one of my favorite times of the year in my native New Mexico. Even though I came to New Mexico from Kansas when I was six months old, I consider it my home base. I’ve traveled the world and lived in many places, but I have always maintained a residence in New Mexico. I just returned from a visit and hated to leave once again.
The green chili roasters are out in full force, and everyone is preparing their supplies for the coming winter. It’s a cultural thing with New Mexicans. Like many of the places I travel to where certain foods are only found in the area, New Mexico is the only place to find the best green and red chili peppers. I brought back a large cooler loaded with them. The attendant at the airline desk didn’t even have to ask what was in the cooler, she already knew. I find myself having to ration my supplies now so I don’t run out between visits. I truly believe if you eat enough hot chili it kills any nasty bugs that you may acquire in your travels overseas. This is just my theory, but it seems to work for me.
We were raised on chili from a young age, and can literally eat molten lava. One time, I took one of my friends, a buyer for a very large department store chain, out to lunch at one of our local hang outs. Just to describe how intense the place is, they have a thermometer at the front door to gauge the heat of the chili that day. We all ordered and I advised him to get his chili on the side. He said “No, I’ll order just like you all do.” We proceeded to talk and enjoy our lunch when I noticed he wasn’t eating. He was actually turning white as a ghost. I asked him if he was okay and all he could mumble was, “I should have gotten the chili on the side.”
This is also the time of year when Mother Nature starts making her changes, and the great fall colors start to come out. I was able to go for a great ride on our Harleys with family and friends in the mountains before I had to leave. The rides truly inspires me to design things with lots of bright colors. They always breathe a whole new energy into me. September is also my birth month, and a rite of passage and confirmation that I’ve survived another year in this crazy wonderful life I’ve been fortunate enough to live.
This month is going to be the start of another whirl-wind travel session. It’s already started with a trip to Tennessee to meet with one of my shell vendors to make arrangements for the coming year. This is a story in and of itself–I’ll tell you about the trip in next month’s post. I will take off this week and literally travel around the circumference of the world, and then end up back in Florida one month later. It looks to be an exciting trip with lots of new materials to look at, and many deals to be made. I’ll make sure to take notes of the highlights, so I can share them with you.
I just wanted to share one more story with you about my latest trip to Australia. During my trip I got to meet a wonderful man named Bill. I’m always fascinated with people and their life stories, especially the people who live in very remote areas and scratch out a livelihood where most people would have a very hard time surviving. We were visiting some mining claims toward the end of our trip, and went through a small town where we pulled up next to Bill and his wife, who were doing some work on a lot they were preparing to build on. They were adding a small motel to their many other business concerns in the area.
When we first pulled up they didn’t recognize the vehicle we were in, and didn’t look very happy about being bothered. Once they recognized John and Barry things changed instantly, and lots of smiles and remarks were exchanged. We were invited to their house for refreshments and an afternoon snack. It was hot and dusty, so it was a welcome break.
I must say, Bill is a very interesting man. He has a lot going on. He has several business ventures going on all at once. I remember seeing a road grater that morning, which wasn’t unusual except it was in the middle of nowhere, and it pulling a small 4×4 behind it. Later down the road we saw a small RV and a flatbed truck with a fuel tank and a huge generator on the back of it. Keep in mind this is in the middle of nowhere, and we hadn’t seen another vehicle all day long. It turns out this was one of Bill’s businesses.
He maintains the dirt roads for the Shire, what we would call a county in the states. The person who does this literally goes out for months at a time and makes his circuit, then comes in to resupply and starts all over again, much like the fence riders in the old west. His yard was filled with machinery–the kinds of things most men would love to have. This machinery can move lots of dirt, and make all kinds of improvements to ones property. Bill is also a miner, and has his own gold claim.
Then I got talking to him about his youth. It turns out he was raised in the Outback. One of his first jobs was showing Special Forces members how to tame wild camels in the desert regions during survival training. You do this by running along side them, in his case barefooted, and jumping on their necks, and then holding on for dear life until you have wrestled them to the ground. Just for a little background here, I wear cowboy boots and jeans and spent a large portion of the time at night picking thorns and spiny things out of them. To run barefooted through this terrain is something else. Again, I had a hard time believing it, but he was barefooted the whole time we were together. Then I noticed he had lots of different mineral specimens lying around. After a few questions, I found out he had collected them and could get more, so off we go and hopefully next year you will get to see some of these new materials in our designs.
Well that’s about all for now. I’ll keep you posted.
More from Jay King on hsn.com: