The Cathedral of St. Philco earned a silk of…

Display with stained glass view of the Cathedral of St. Philco.
The Cathedral of St. Philco.

Here it is.

This was once an old Philco radio cabinet, a worn-out husk that I bought on eBay for a few dollars.  I added colored glass, dollhouse furniture and velvet interior, and created something spiritual and special.

I didn’t plan on building this artwork for anything other than a proof of concept, a way to take a vision in my imagination and turn into something finite.

And after a few more adjustments to the artwork – a a new miniature hymnal board, a couple of tiny Bibles for the pew racks, and some burled wood veneers for the interior walls …And this came out.

Just dropped off The Cathedral of St. Philco for judging. Now I have to go get the photos.

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That’s what the Cathedral of St. Philco looked like before I dropped it off at the Harriet May Mills Art Center.

This was one of the two submissions for which I did not receive an acceptance or rejection postcard.  So I drove to Syracuse (to pick up my rejected entries) and figured, while I was there, maybe I should go claim my Cathedral as well.

The attendant said I could not take the Cathedral.

“Entries that have ribbons on them may not be removed until after the Fair concludes,” she told me, with a wink.

A ribbon?  Sweet!  “What color ribbon,” I asked.

“Sorry, we can’t tell you,” the attendant smiled.  “This will make you come to the Fair to see how you did.”

Okay, okay, okay.  Hey, it got in, it’s in the Harriet May Mills Art Center while six of my photographs are in the trunk of Dracourage for the ride home.

And when I got back to the Town and Village that Monday afternoon, I received the postcard that confirmed that yes indeed, The Cathedral of St. Philco was accepted and will be shown at the Harriet May Mills Art Center for the 2016 New York State Fair.  Albeit in a different part of the Art Center, but hey it’s still the same building at the same Fairgrounds.

There are five different ribbons available in this category – first, second, third, fourth and honorable mention.  And I was told that I received a silk for this artwork.

And I’ve already said what I would do should the artwork receive a ribbon.  Depending on the final ribbon color, I will dine on some deep-fried Kosher food at the Fair’s new Kosher eatery, The Oaks at Menorah Park.  L’Chaim!  I care not if I dine on deep-fried matzo balls with ranch dressing, or deep-fried cheese blintzes or deep-fried knishes.

Heck, show me a blue ribbon with my artwork, and I’ll even eat deep-fried Gefilte fish.

What do you mean they’re not serving deep-fried Gefilte fish at the Fair?  Oy vey ismir!

Okay.  Thursday morning.  I figure I’d celebrate my 53rd birthday by zipping over to the New York State Fair and seeing how The Cathedral of St. Philco did in the Arts and Crafts division.  It’s drizzly and cloudy in Syracuse.  Not the best way to start my visit.

Okay, at least let’s check out this year’s butter sculpture.  The New York State Fair has a butter sculpture each year, and this one…

Olympic butter-carved athletes.
Olympic butter-carved athletes.

Nice looking creation.  I’ll avoid the jokes about how this sculpture is so cool, Ryan Lochte lied about carving it, and Hope Solo griped that the butter carvers were cowards for not including her likeness in the finished product.  Oh, did I just say that out loud?  My bad…

I walk into the Harriet May Mills Art Center.  No “wait until 1:00 p.m. to see the results” for me.  We’re not checking photo results.  Different part of the Art Center.

The Arts and Crafts results are on the first floor of the Arts Center, down a corridor past several vendors and sales booths… Nearby is a display sign showing the various ribbons available for entries in this division.

Five choices of silk.
Five choices of silk.

Okay.  This is my first time entering anything in a dollhouse category.  The winner is probably someone who scratch-built a Victorian-era, gabled dollhouse with enough furniture to stock a miniature Raymour and Flanagan.

I keep looking around the room.  It’s gotta be somewhere.  I know the Cathedral is someplace in this facility.

And then…

Out of nowhere…

I spot it.

Holy Henrik Ibsen, Batman... that's a first place ribbon!!!!
Holy Henrik Ibsen, Batman… that’s a first place ribbon!!!!

That’s a first-place blue ribbon attached to The Cathedral of St. Philco – my first-ever blue for a non-Dream Window, non-photography construct – and my second-ever blue at the New York State Fair, the first since my Lodge’s in Polaroid PolaBlue took a blue silk way back in 2011!!!

Wow – all those sleepless nights and rainy weekends, all those glass tiles and E6000 adhesive compound, every single step and stripe along the way… this little house of worship did what a year’s worth of photographs couldn’t.  It not only took a silk at the New York State Fair – it took a blue one for first place!!

How about that??

Time to celebrate!!  I call the Clark Sisters, sing for me!

And, as promised, I went to find the new Kosher fair food eatery.  And it took a while to track it down, but the Kosher booth is in the International Building, the food stand wedged between a stand that sells Louisiana-style po’ boy sandwiches and a booth that sells cooked alligator meat.

No, I don’t think that alligator can be considered kosher.

Found it! A touch of the Lower East Side, right here at the Fairgrounds!
Found it! A touch of the Lower East Side, right here at the Fairgrounds!

I’m already giddy from the blue ribbon, so I order an Israeli chopped salad (minced vegetables with dressing), a deep-fried cheese blintz with sour cream, and an order of deep-fried matzo balls with ranch dressing.  No, they didn’t have deep-fried Gefilte fish.

And like a bona fide hipster, once I received my order, I took a photo of my lunch.

A little nosh at Catering by the Oaks, the kosher stand of The Oaks at Memorah Park at the New York State Fair.
A little nosh at Catering by the Oaks, the kosher stand of The Oaks at Memorah Park at the New York State Fair.

And I can definitely say … the Israeli chopped salad was delicious, the cheese blintz was divine, and the deep-fried matzo balls were, as my Grandma Betty might say, geshmak.  And when something is geshmak, there’s only one thing to do.

I went back to the Oaks booth and placed a second order of the blintz and an additional order of the matzo balls… to go.  Yes, it was THAT scruptuous, that geshmak.

So what’s going to happen to The Cathedral of St. Philco after the Fair?

This is also cool.  Its next home will be as part of the upcoming silent auction for the Albany Damien Center this October, where it will help to raise money for the Damien Center’s charitable activities and outreach.  The Albany Damien Center is a very important charity in this area, and the work they do to provide assistance for our friends and families who suffer from the complications of HIV+ and AIDS is tremendous.

So now … instead of bringing them a miniature dollhouse for their auction…

I’m bringing them a blue-ribbon award-winning miniature dollhouse for their auction.

How awesome is that?

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16 thoughts on “The Cathedral of St. Philco earned a silk of…”

  1. I’m THRILLED for you!!! OMG, this is so awesome!!!!! Oh and this will garner LOTS of bids at that auction!!!! Who wouldn’t want this? Chuck, you have so much talent….I don’t think you realize just how incredibly gifted you are!

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  2. Cool beans!!!
    What imagination…and TALENT!
    And I know Perry w/b pleased with what this fetches at auction.

    Just curious – and apologies if you already addressed this early on.
    Is there any significance attached to the hymn numbers that you posted?

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    1. CP Retiree – not really, they’re just random numbers that would be found in a standard hymnal. I did, however, make sure not to use numbers like “666” or “69” …

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  3. Well done, Mr. Miller. Nice to see judges recognize real talent and creative use of materials.

    I might just bid on that at Damien Center auction.

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  4. Big Congratulations on that win Chuck! WOOHOO! Awesome job and a pretty blue ribbon to go with it. Food sounded pretty awesome too my friend. I will not be attending the Fair this year, so thank you for including the photo of the winner.

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  5. CONGRATULATIONS!!!! That is just so awesome, Chuck! It is such a creative piece of art. Hope it fetches mucho denaro at the auction..it should!!
    And the food.. Looks wonderful..tho with a side of tums for me.

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