A scrim in theatrical terms is a curtain that’s opaque when front-lighted but semitransparent when the scene behind is illuminated to reveal a whole new world. A bindle stiff is a vagabond who carries his wherewithal with him. The best aspects of the Great Southwest Desert come alive the same way – when you look through the curtain to the wonders beyond, give in to wanderlust and indulge the unfettered recesses of your soul.
This month’s column emphasizes the stranger side of the desert around Ridgecrest, the ancient ones, a thriving artistic community, and a concentration of talent represented by the Maturango Museum’s Open Studio Tour and by the Desert Empire Fair’s many competitions in photographic excellence, and the finest in quilting, jams, and jellies.
Ridge Writers, the East Sierra Branch of the 107-year-old California Writers Club, celebrates UFOs, haunted gold mines, bigfoot sightings and more in their Weird Weekend each year in September. Highlights of this year’s edition, Sept. 23-24: actress Stevie Taken as Mary Shelley on “When Frankenstein Was Science,” the 3rd Annual Weird Storytelling Competition, and Daniel Stallings/C.W. Rowenson’s interactive murder mystery Pauper’s Grave.
Planning ahead, save December 6 for Ridge Writers’ Dickens Tea at My Enchanted Cottage (760-264-4141), with a short performance, prizes, and costumes encouraged (cwc-ridgewriters.com).
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