Happy Dawg Walks the Sad Man: The Remarkably Varied Adventures of a Confirmed Arts Multiple
by Ross Alan Bachelder
Artful Endeavors New England (2016)
ISBN 13: 9780996956710
ISBN 10: 0996956719
genre: BIOGRAPHY > SHORT STORIES > HUMOR
Happy Dawg Walks the Sad Man: The Remarkably Varied Adventures of a Confirmed Arts Multiple is a thought-provoking, seriocomic romp through Maine author Ross Alan Bachelder’s more than fifty years of joyful immersion in the fine and performing arts. At the Heart of Happy Dawg Walks the Sad Man are twenty wide-ranging personal essays—some engagingly thoughtful, some heartrendingly poignant, some quietly hilarious, and some about people of high character and fundamental decency who’ve made a lasting difference in his life. Altogether, they chronicle a veritable cornucopia of creative experiences Bachelder has immersed himself in over the years as writer, musician, visual artist, and theater professional. The book also includes more than eighty illustrations and nine playful, eccentric “tiny novelettes,” each written in response to drawings Bachelder did in 2008 while exploring the idea of the doodle as the fundamental vocabulary of all artists from the cradle to the grave. The list of Bachelder’s creative experiences is formidably long and, as indicated in the title of his book, remarkably varied. He spent three decades laboring in small-town, north-of-Boston theater companies, taking roles as a bit part actor, working as a pit orchestra musician, managing and publicizing three professional theaters, and founding his own theater for young people for which he wrote the plays and the music. Since then he’s run his own art gallery, managed a frame shop, chased live theater in London and Glasgow, founded a group for abstract and experimental artists, and exhibited his multimedia artworks in galleries in Maine, New Hampshire, and Massachusetts. As the Flute Guy, he’s performed solo recitals, appeared in a wide array of special events, played at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, and traveled to the North Island town of Tauranga, New Zealand to perform at the opening reception for renowned New Zealand artist Susan Harrison-Tustain. Along the way, he somehow found the time to write and publish a handful of magazine articles, teach elementary music and college writing, and work as a free-lance columnist and arts reviewer for three southern New Hampshire newspapers. Ross Alan Bachelder learned early in his life that he was neither emotionally nor temperamentally built to be a specialist, and Happy Dawg Walks the Sad Man—his first book—thoroughly and artfully renders his assertion irrefutable. His next book will be a collection of short stories, certain to be as quirky as the tiny novelettes in Happy Dawg Walks the Sad Man, and more so.