Polk Street Fair

San Francisco, July, 1973




From "The Memoirs, Chapter Five" -



            About that time too, our new friend Maria Scatuccio, was doing ceramics.  She would call herself a “ceramicist” for years.  Well, they were always fun and kinda silly stuff, her style, like ceramic hot dogs, and ceramic Betty Boops, and such.  And she was doing some great ceramic cup cakes and chocolate éclairs, ice cream sundies, all different colors with sprinkles on top.




            Then one day Maria gets the idea that she wants to have a booth in the upcoming Polk Street Fair, and sell her cup cakes, and she gets the idea to call it “Maria’s Bakery,” and wear a chef’s hat and make it a big deal of it.  Right up our alley, I thought.

            “Sure!  We’d love to help, Maria!” everyone said, of course.

            So, we set to building a bakery set, exactly the size of the permits for the booths in the Polk Street Fair.  But that wasn’t enough!  We decided to build a little stage in the back of the booth and build little sets and perform little “Bakery Tableaux” behind Maria selling her cup cakes all day long.  Maria loved it, of course!




            They were silly tableaux, really, and seemed to go on forever, fifteen or twenty minutes each one.  We had Terry MacDonald and Joy and Dale and me, and we dressed up in silly cardboard outfits.  Terry was the Baker, Joy was the Milk, I was the Flour and Dale was the Egg.  Silly stuff like, below, "The Flour and the Milk Plot Behind the Baker's Back."  Joy and I would whisper to each and generally ridicule the Baker's low intellegence. 






            Then the Milk, Joy, decides to run away and the Baker, Terry, is reduced to begging her to stay.  We held the very-active poses for quite a while  and they were mostly silent with occasional outburst like "I've had it!" and "Don't go!" and the rest of us running around and trying to rally the passers-by into audience participation with shouts of "Leave the BUM!"  Things like that.






            The idea being that Maria is at the Bakery's front counter selling her cupcakes while all this is happening behind her back in the kitchen. 




        A particularly good one was called “The Baker Beats the Egg” and had Terry hitting Dale with a wooden spoon on his cardboard eggshell and Dale gloating and snearing at Terry and Terry getting madder and madder and Dale's shiny, bald head glistening in the Polk Street sun. 










            Well, they attracted a lot of attention and added a little bit to our growing reputation.  Mostly, we had a great time.





*  *  *


            Maria would do lots of great ceramics over the years, mostly, as I say, with a colorful sense of humor, like these open-toed, platform sandals she had around for years.




I still have a little self-portrait tile she made me, below.




*  *  *