It is Spring, 2007. And considering that it has been a while since the Wife has indulged herself in anything resembling fun activity, it seems like a good idea to enthusiastically support what might become a handful of concert dates.
By this point, Wife has more or less begun hanging out on the aforementioned Stewart Copeland fan forum, which aligns our evenings very well as I’m still posting on one or two far more fanwanky Star Trek fan film sites (occasionally trying to remind younger Trekkies of the finer points of critical thinking regarding modern science, decent writing, political history, and nostalgia’s debilitating effects upon adult judgment. All in an obnoxious day’s work for someone of my advanced age and limited humility). Evenings are spent furiously typing on keyboards in our home office, punctuated by the occasional belly laugh or outraged growl.
(Nota bene: My Star Trek fandom is always herewith presented as an object worthy of your most erudite ridicule and disdain. Sufficiently avid fans of other entertainment genres should realize, however, that they too live in glass houses of perilous fragility.)
The reunion tour’s Vancouver debut approaches. Wife needs a means to be recognized in a foreign city’s airport by acquaintances she’s never met. Asks me to help make something she can carry easily that’ll stand out from the car-service guys who wait at airports holding up signs with last names on them. Sure thing.
“How do you want to carry the thing? How durable does it need to be? Okay, let’s accommodate whatever carrying needs might be physically possible, and put grommets on it.” I still have a hokey little hobbyist grommet clamp, meant for thin fabric on historical costume shirts from an entirely different era in my fanwank history. This banner-thing is needed relatively soon, and Wife grabs whatever kelly-green fabric and semi-compatible paint she can find at a relatively local crafts supply.
She measures out a shape that allows a double-length of it to fold and have side seams to hopefully keep it from unraveling in transit. Since extended durability isn’t an issue, and there’s not much time to lovingly hand-sew the fucker together anyway, we use iron-on fabric tape and fabric adhesive to attach the folded seams to each other. So what if it falls apart in a few days, right?
Available high-resolution Copeland logos are in short supply at this point, so I must interpret from a printout of a low-resolution image taken from online. I enlarge the image, clean it up, turn it to a solid shape, print it out for cutout, and roughly trace it onto the green cloth with old art-supply charcoal.
But I have no tracing paper. So I have to improvise a light-box.
While it’s still day outside, I tape the art onto a bedroom window, brace the fabric over it, and try to discern outlines through the murky green. I miss most of them, and thicken the art in the process. Very sophisticated. You’d never know what I do for a living, watching me stumble through this.
(Keep in mind I haven’t yet seen the source of this logo art, an embarrassing 1985 movie called “The Rhythmatist,” which yielded a substantive soundtrack if nothing else. I’ve only been told that this is a modified image from a movie the guy once made. I have little idea what the silhouette of Maestro Copeland is carrying. So I fake it.)
No fabric paint is available, so I use standard acrylic. Wife has brought back several varieties of white, and (concerned with making a good impression) worries a bit about the aesthetics of using more than one “shade” of white (“Snow/Titanium”, “White Wash”) in the same area on the field of green. I try not to roll my eyes too audibly, given this thing’s probable life span.
The meet-up goes well, and Wife’s report on her newfound acquaintances includes a wide variety of interesting individuals, some of whom I continue to hear about in the following weeks. Longtime Police fans and creative professionals populate the stories. The makeshift flag has served its purpose.
It isn’t long after this that my vague memory tells me about inquiries coming in from other SC.net people about this flag. The boys are scheduled to perform at Bonnaroo, and something like it could come in handy there.
And this is where the first domino falls.