North Side Mark Scantling
I will be showing one painting from this series entitled “North Side” at this years Preservation is the Art of the City art show, in September.This annual show at the Fort Worth Community Arts Center, is presented by Historic Fort Worth, Inc. Proceeds from art sales help HFW provide community awareness programs that highlight historically and culturally significant homes and businesses in the area.
[Back Story] The name of my series is from the largely Hispanic neighborhood near Fort Worth’s Stockyards. One of the city’s oldest neighborhoods, it is also one of the poorest. North Side has been in economic decline for several decades, but a closer look reveals many of it’s residents are working hard, remodeling their homes and landscaping their lawns. 25th Street is one of the major areas of commerce on the North Side. Many of it’s businesses like the Azle Theater, have long been closed, but several continue to serve the residents. Lean economic times are nothing new here. North Side has problems, more that some other areas of the city, but it hangs on by it’s roots – hard-working people, with a long cultural heritage, a deep sense of family values, and community pride.
Mickie, my wife, attends a monthly meeting of glass artists (which she is) at The Merry Go Round on the west side of Fort Worth. Each month I use that night to dine solo, escaping her personal “No Chinese – No Fish” rule. February and March I dined at Asia Bowl (one of my favorites) where you can get about 201 variations of chicken fried rice – all of them are great. Tonight though, I wanted to try something different, something new.
For some time, I have been intrigued by the plain looking, white, cinder block building at the corner of Vickery and Montgomery Streets, called the Flying Fish. Tonight I decided to try it out, and I am glad that I did. Parking is spare, but seating is ample with a large covered patio. Inside decor is Fish Camp shack with photos of locals proudly showing off their catch at their favorite fishing holes. There is also the largest collection (I have seen) of “Big Mouth Billy’s” – you know – the disturbing, mounted on a plaque, singing Bass. The menu includes Catfish and Talapia (fried or grilled), frog legs, oysters, clams, shrimp and mud bugs, cold beverages and more. Not what the doctor ordered, but seriously Good stuff! – The Flying Fish now goes into my regular pitching rotation. – Mark
The Bluebird Club
I wanted to add this photo of the the Bluebird Club. Other than the striking color, there’s not much to draw your attention to this building – certainly nothing that tells you this is an icon of Fort Worth music – much less, American Music history. The Bluebird is between Camp Bowie Blvd. and Vickery Ave, on Horne St. in the west side’s Como neighborhood. The roster of people that have passed through it’s doors reads like the Who’s Who of Blues and Rock Music. Eric Clapton, B.B. King, ZZ Top, T Bone Burnett, and former owner/bluesman Robert Eally. You would have to ask Joe Nick Patoski to verify – but, I was told that many years ago, Mick Jagger and Keith Richards came to the Bluebird one evening to hear a young guitarist play his own style of searing Texas Blues. It is said they offered that young man a job on the spot, playing for the Rolling Stones. The Rolling Stones and Stevie Ray Vaughan. Legends. Awesome…
And there you are – dinner and a show (sort of)…