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Give those metal fans a map -- please!


© St. Petersburg Times, published May 6, 2000

The page one photo of the buxom lass crowd-surfing at the Livestock music festival in Zephyrhills last week made me realize why so many raucous people keep showing up (and sitting next to me) at plays and concerts around the Tampa Bay area.

They made the wrong turn and ended up at the wrong place.

Instead of ending up in that cow pasture in east Pasco where their incessant coughing would sound like part of the show, they stumbled into a Florida Orchestra concert at Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center.

Instead of finding their way to World Federation Wrestling where their loud talking wouldn't drown out the entertainment, they've meandered into a Johnny Mathis concert at Ruth Eckerd Hall.

Instead of driving to Daytona for the stock car races where they could rattle cellophane to their hearts' content, they've wound up at a ballet at Mahaffey Theatre.

I think there's a way to let them see how their geographically inappropriate behavior can ruin a show.

Next time there's a big grunge music festival, all of us quiet, attentive concert and play lovers should all invade the mosh pit and sit silently through the entire performance. That way, everyone could hear every sour note and every inane word coming off the stage.

Once the crowd actually heard what the people on the stage are singing and playing, they would realize that few, if any, of the performers have an ounce of talent or a rational thought, instantly convert to Mahler and Sondheim, and start behaving like proper ladies and gentlemen no matter where they roam.

Yup. When warthogs fly.

* * *

Photography buffs might want to catch the exhibit by Land O'Lakes photographer Ragan Jenkins at Pasco-Hernando Community College's library exhibit area this month. The 36-piece show, "Traveling Light," was at Club More, a music and art venue in Clearwater, in 1998 and at Land O'Lakes library last year.

Jenkins works mostly in black and white, but sometimes tints her work in the style of the old traveling portraitmakers who used to come through town and set up shop in local hotels.

The works include close-ups of figures in Paris's Arc de Triomphe, pools of swirling mud in New Zealand, cruise ship dancers, faces and other stuff. Since Jenkins does her own darkroom work, she also has some fascinating studies of the same shot printed in different ways: the usual black and white print juxtaposed to a solarized re-exposed print and a re-wash that results in a soft burgundy tone.

My favorite piece is a quilt the photographer made for her husband's late grandmother, Gertie Hunley, that has photo images pressed into the quilt squares.

"(She) was in Hospice toward the end, and she sometimes didn't recognize the people who visited her," Jenkins said. "So I made her a quilt with color transfers of photographs of people she knew. She put it across her lap and said the names of the ones in the photo."

Many of the photos are cracked and faded.

"Those are the ones she rubbed, the faces of the ones she loved so much."

The exhibit will be at the college through May 31. A meet-the-artist reception will be from 6 to 8 p.m. May 19.

* * *

CONSUMER ALERT: Normally, I'm not into consumer alerts that don't have to do with theater or food (as in "Don't waste your dough on this clunker"), but since this scam has happened to me twice in the past few years, I'm giving one now.

When you buy new tires with a mileage guarantee, be sure to compare your odometer with what's on the invoice BEFORE you leave the shop. Two different times at two different places, the salesman subtracted 5,000 miles from my car's actual mileage on the shop's invoice. Because the tires have a 50,000 mile guarantee, that shaved off 10 percent of the guarantee's value.

What difference does that make?

If I had run over a road hazard and ruined the tires as I drove out of the tire shop, the value of my road hazard insurance would have automatically been reduced by 10 percent. On four tires, that's about $40.

Pretty expensive for a drive maybe 20 feet long.

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