Whilst on a recent investigation with Inspector Pietro of the Italian Polizei, we had discovered that our original focus, a haberdashery on nearby Anna Maria Island, had subscribed fully to the "hazy-lazy-days of summer" theory and was not yet in full awake mode.
Thus we found ourselves in a meandering circular traipse around St. Armand's Circle, the heavily tourist laden roundabout in the beachside area of Sarasota across Ringling Bros. Blvd. (whose Fine Arts Museum is no circus at all but a must see if in this area by the way).
Lamenting the ambrosial aromas of a too close for comfort "chocolate covered bacon" emporium, we espied a sign nearby for a shoppe called "The Tube Dude", with the Inspector immediately surmising it to be some watercraft proprietorship.
Oh how wrong he would be (and thus ensuring to continue to keep me busy in my retirement for years to come)!
It was immediately apparent upon entering this avant-garde artist's gallery that this was the source of all the brightly colored and instantly arresting mailbox posts along The Ave of the Presidents we had witnessed on our ride over here.
But it soon became so much more for here on a Sunday morn was "The Dude", owner, operator, designer, welder, salesman, web director, and all around chief Dude himself.....watching with chagrin as the Inspector took photos of everything inside EXCEPT the "Please, No Photography" signs. (Ah, Inspector.)
As poetry is oft defined as communicating the most using the sparest of words, so is the genius of the Dude's simplicity. So straightforward, so simple upon viewing yet only once seen does it appear this way. The designs, the thoughts invested, the creativity itself is at once inherent in every piece created. And with works now purchased, shipped, and happily located in 40 countries and many of the states here on this side of the Pond, his works are beauty incarnate.
And it was after several rounds of interlocutions that we also discovered that these pieces, while available to purchase 'as-is' directly from his website, often take on a specific level of customization once dialogue has begun with a prospective patron.
Mailbox posts, garden statuary, whimsical lawn pieces, corporate statements or specific business communicators, there is really no end to how these works of art can transform the mundane into a statement made.
Needless to say both the Inspector and I were quite smitten with The Dude and his shoppe, and only with his permission did I then take a few snapshots of my own.
If in this area, do stop in and say hello to The Dude, whose mantra itself (like his pieces) is also quite simplistic yet awe inspiring at the same time - "A Smile is Happiness Right Under Your Nose".
But check for his address first for developments were clearly in the works to move from his window front store to a larger more individualistic "Seussian-like" operation in the months to come.........and away from the base temptations of any chocolate covered bacon. Indeed!