Monday, May 25, 2009

Year of the boler (small "b" intended)

So, I'm just back from another boler weekend.

Having purchased my new toy and current object of obsession last October I have deemed 2009 the year of the boler! For the uninitiated, bolers are small molded fiberglass travel trailers built in Canada from 1968 through the 1970's (the end date of production is a bit vague as there were many offshoots made from the same molds, but with different names). There were approximately 10,000 bolers produced, and given the number you still see on the road, I'd bet the a good majority of them are still around.

I first became facinated by the boler after listening to a CBC radio documentary on them. When they began to talk about these vintage eggs shaped trailers I immediately knew what they were, having seen them on the road for years. But I'd never really thought about them much before. I hadn't considered the brilliance of their design, or taken pride in the face that they were made in Canada; and I certainly had never considered them cool. But by time the show was over, the seeds were sewn. I began researching them on the internet; walking into peoples yards where I saw them parked, so I could look in the windows; and at the hight of my obsession knocking on strangers doors to ask if I could have a look inside.

This was all over the course 4 or 5 years. In the interim I had become the not so proud 1/4 share owner of a beat-to-shit 1976 Bonaire tent trailer (also made in Canada). A story in itself. But one to be told at a later date. Then last October, it was time. My obsession had fermented to the point of action. I scoped it out on Craigslist, picking the cleanest one I saw. I layed down $4,000 cash after a brief negotiation, which included getting the owner to tow it to my place for me. And then it was mine.

So far it has been everything I had hoped: It is simple to tow and set up, comfortable to sleep in, and most importantly, it's cool!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Who are the art collectors?

In recent years I've taken an interest in art and art collecting. I found that my joy and appreciation for art began to increase exponentially once I actually began to purchase it. It was that sudden realization that the only thing that separated me from art collectors was buying stuff, not just looking at it.

Once I had acquired my first piece, I suddenly started to think I had entered a world that really belonged to others. I had been to many shows, galleries and openings and had always wondered "who are the art collectors?" "What is it they know that the rest of us don't?" I always thought there was some sort of barrier between looking and buying. Even when I found something that I really quite liked, I could never take that next step. I didn't think I knew enough.

And then it happened. I was perusing a table of off centre prints at an artists studio during the East Van Culture Crawl, finding one I quite liked and discussing it with my friend before putting it back.

"Aren't you going to buy it?" my friend asked.
"I don't know, what do you think?"
"It's $15.00!?!

And with that my friend reach into his pocket handed the artist the money, laughed and said, "What the fuck is wrong with you?"

And that was it. Really quite simple. The barrier was gone. The buying became much easier after that. Never one to do things in moderation, I now need to figure out how to pay for it all.