Fri, 13 October 2006
Back in September of this year I was in Austin on a Friday night. As is usually the case in Austin on any Friday night, musicians tend to coalesce and perform melodic compositions, and this was no exception. But since this visit was such a short notice only four folks showed up and only two were musicians.
One of the two non-musicians is an able story teller, and this story was captured during the recorded session entitled "The Band's Getting Back Together (Not)". The Sailor, as told by Charles "Balloon Dog" Wakeland (AKA "The Professor") is a little rough but a good example of Charles's sense of humor.
The first time I met Charles at his home in south Austin I shook his hand, which is this massive mandible thing, similar in girth to the paw of a grizzly bear but gentle as that of a kitten. He proceeded to show me some of the metal working toys that he has in his shop and described some of the projects that he was working on and others that he was planning to be working on; all the while using the technical prose of an aerospace engineer to portray such mundane events as how the hot plasma from the cutting torch vaporizes the metal that it hits while the surrounding ferrous lattice remains cool and undisturbed. This type of description is why he is known to his close friends as "The Professor".
But others who have seen him tying up balloon animals at local events for the kids and the ladies in Austin know him as "Balloon Dog".
Such is the flavor and character of the South Austin residents.