The Saga of the Faux-Velvet Red Chairs

November 4, 2010

One of the major intents of this blog is to offer insight into the motivations and behavior of Monte and try to offer an honest description of him and the influences upon his life and artwork.

Like all people, Monte had many flaws and a fair portrayal of him that did not consider these flaws would not be an honest one.  Also, the writing of these flaws, as well as information pertaining to other people and their relationship with Monte, is not meant to offend, embarrass or ridicule.  It is all done in a manner to offer a complete picture of Monte, his life, art and relationships.


Below is a photograph of a red, faux-velvet chair.  The chair once had a second.  These chairs were bought and owned by Sharyl’s mother, Gladys Strode.  At one point, Gladys gave these chairs to Sharyl and Sharyl brought the chairs to their house in Banner.  Not to be disrespectful, but it is well-known Gladys had a unique taste when it came to fabrics and the color of items in her home.  While, not to defend Monte’s later actions, Monte greatly disliked these chairs and how they did not fit the decor of the Banner home.  It would also be dishonest not to point out he also disliked them because of where they came from.

As it has been noted earlier, Monte was known for his fondness of drink and determination to do about what ever it was he felt like doing.  Those who knew Monte and Sharyl also could attest to their relationship being like that of oil and water.  While both were not shy to share their opinions about anything, Monte was different in his nature because he could also be quite selfish and insensitive at times.

Regarding these chairs, in times of raised passions and when Monte was primed with alcohol, he would remark to Sharyl one day when she was not around, he was going to drag not one, but both chairs, out into their yard and burn them.

So, one day after a period of discontent and binge of drink, Monte did just that.  He drug both chairs out into their yard and set them afire underneath their prized Basswood tree, photographed below.  To add insult to injury, later when his tongue was loosened by alcohol, he added to the story of how not only he thought he was going to have a heart attack while dragging these chairs outside, but of what a raging fire resulted in setting the chairs aflame.

Afterward, Monte greatly regretted what he had done (though at later times he would deny the regret, but only when warmed up with alcohol).  Sharyl never forgave Monte and her refusal did not have a thing to do with the loss of two fashion-less chairs, but that they were gifts to her from her mother.  Those who knew her could not blame her, either.

The reason this story is told is not to demonize Monte, but to illustrate how the roots to his behavior were partly found in the existence of his artistic talents.  In other words, the existence of these great skills led Monte to sometimes act any way he wanted to because of a created self-perception he was entitled to act these ways because of his talents.


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