Red Pimento

Brian J. Sullivan

It's not natural, I tell you, those red things inside an olive. What are pimentos anyway? I have never seen them for sale in the farmers market. Nobody seems to know where they come from.

Some fresh fruit now comes individually wrapped and/or has tiny labels stuck on each piece of fruit. Not only is it hard to pick off, but also I usually bruise the fruit skin in the process of trying to remove the label. I can't remember apple and plum trees of my youth growing fruit with tiny labels adhered to each piece.

I now wear two different prescription glasses (three if you count the prescription sun glasses). One pair is for reading and the other is for distance; anything in between close and distant is simply a blur. Nobody told me it was going to be like this. If they had, at least I may have tried to prepare.

Then there are the complicated tent displays which each year seem to get more elaborate. What ever happened to the covered card tables and hanging art along the chain link fence (circa 1970s)? Those days are gone, I'm afraid. Now one needs a completely outfitted moving truck with a lift-gate, storage racks, and on board living compartment.

I remember when Coke and Pepsi came in returnable glass bottles and were sealed with a bottle cap and sold for five cents. I remember one cent gum ball machines, hawking some charity, that were located in every business lobby. Phone booths dotted the major street corners and charged ten cents. Gas sold for twenty-five cents a gallon and they checked your oil and washed your windshield.

Am I that old? Where has the time gone? These grey hairs did not appear all at once, but rather insidiously they invaded my head gradually over time as to go undetected until infiltration was complete.

I have developed routines. I get up at 4:30 am every day (without an alarm clock) and go to bed at 11:00 pm each night. I eat my meals at certain times and get grouchy if my feeding schedule is changed.

I have drawers filled with underwear and socks still in their original store packages, given as presents from well meaning family members. My file cabinets overflow with past show prospectuses which I can't bear to throw out in case I may ever need this information. Likewise, my garage is full of past tents, old display panels, and other miscellaneous equipment once used on the art fair circuit. All are still good, but have simply been replaced with new and better models.

As another art fair season comes to a close and the next one is already around the corner, remember to take time for the things that really matter most to you. Life goes on. Grey hairs continue to become more numerous.

Ah! And those red pimentos—it’s a marketing gimmick. There is no intrinsic value in pimentos except to enhance olive sales. Maybe I should consider adding some to my art work to enhance my sales.