Krekels Dairymaid in Decatur, Illinois - (transcribed 6/03)
It was my 27th birthday, 2002, the second year of living in the Congress Theater. I was asleep and it was the day I had to get up to photograph this guy who made fiberglass chickens to go on top of these really ugly Cadillac cars, in Decatur, IL. I had to photograph him for some project the Reader was doing about various people across the land or in the mid-west. It was raining and I woke up and I heard this loud shrilling scream or screams coming out of the auditorium, so I opened my door and I walked out and it was maybe 10 o'clock in the morning and there was never anyone in the theater cuz there were hardly ever shows and they were so random and weird anyway and few and far between. But there was rain pouring inside through all the plaster and all the holes in the ceiling, it was dark brown and red and rust colored wood and just the old decay of the theater that always looks so dated and there was a performance of a Mexican kid's play with a blue bowl and dancing bumble bees and flowers in very bright pastel yellow and blues and pinks, extremely bright and in contrast to the rest of the dark dank theater with the rain pouring in at the same time which looked ridiculous. And all the kids were screaming and were so loud, I'm like amazed at all the reverberations of the screams the sounds that they were making were so odd. It was one of the weirdest things I'd ever seen on stage by far. So I went back to sleep cuz I was really tired and I sleep in usually and I started dreaming about that hallway and all the kids and them painting the walls like pink and orange and yellow stripes like a vaudeville kids playroom and they were running around the theater in my dream and running up above the dome and falling through these halls and kept pulling them - holding them by their feet and I was like - don't fuck around you're gonna fall and get hurt . This isn't somewhere for a kid it's big and scary. They were running everywhere and falling through all these holes and cracks. It was really strange and then there was of course the blue bowl from performance I don't know what it was doing but it was a very weird blue bowl and then I dreamt that the chicken guy that I had to photograph that day was somehow in the dream as well and all these ladies oh I forgot to mention he was being very difficult on the phone and didn't want his picture taken And was being kind of a grumpy old man. I was getting upset like - if I drive three hours and the guy won't let me take his picture what am I gonna do he's gonna stand me up. In the dream he was a fat midget and was doing something with catsup and mustard that I can't remember. All the ladies were in these yellow and red polyester outfits and something was weird about their faces too that I can't really remember now. He was this really funny looking fat short guy in this chicken hamburger joint. Anyway I went and photographed him a couple days later but with all the stuff on the stage -I'm kind of tired now but it was one of the weirdest days, that was my birthday.
- Suzy Poling