In your eye…

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That’s where the beauty is, they say… in the eyes of the beholder.

On the other hand, Confucius once said, “Everything has beauty, but not everyone sees it.”

That leads me to a weird conclusion. If something looks ugly, it’s either the fault of my eyes or I’m altogether blind. Maybe nothing is really ugly.

That should make at least one little duckling happy. He is Han Christian Andersen’s homely little bird, a swan born in a barnyard among plain domestic fowl. He is abused as an ugly bird because he is different. Then he grows up into the most beautiful bird of all.

So, nothing’s really ugly? Bet I can make you squirm with a couple of these…

  • I heard about a warty toad hopping right on top of a vacationer’s cornflakes one morning at a Disney World resort in Florida,
  • A slimy, gelatinous, gray South Pacific blobfish bobbed onto a surfer’s board in an Australian surfing competition last year,
  • A wrinkle-faced, big-fanged vampire bat that got itself lost in a Mexican hotel lobby full of Japanese tourists one day not long ago.

Now how about a chorus of “Everything is beautiful in its own way…”

This week your Jamestown Gazette comes to the rescue with treasures made from ugly trash. Everybody has seen an occasional barnyard or front lot littered with ugly, rusting hulks of old cars and trucks and tractors and even a things or two so dilapidated you can’t even tell what it ever was.

Take any one of those and look at it through the eyes of somebody who can see the real beauty in it, add a few thousand hours of elbow grease and sweat and a few thousand dollars of new “old” parts, and you will see a once beautiful machine brought back to life.

Antique automobile restoration is a passion for finding and restoring beauty to faded glory. Jamestown’s Cruise-In is an annual delight of brilliantly polished paint jobs, glistening chrome and softly purring engines that not long ago might not have even turned over in their graves.

Beauty is in the eyes of the beholder, especially if the beholder’s eyes are those of a skilled, talented and passionate restorer. Meet a couple of hundred of them next Friday in downtown Jamestown at this year’s Cruise-In. See the beauty that was once invisible, camouflaged by nature and time as ugly and rusted, or simply just too old.

And while you’re downtown, stick around on Saturday for the Jamestown Farmers’ Market and taste the beauty of things pulled from the dirt mere hours before — the farm-freshest of vegetables. Sample the tastiest of sun-ripened fruit picked at the peak of their ripeness. And for an extra treat, taste this year’s first ever downtown pig roast. Pigs, however, though they waddle and wallow in mud, are never really ugly. Ask any 4-H-er. They are just beautiful in their own way.

Find the beauty this week that has been brought out for you to enjoy by people who can see it in places we often miss. And while you’re eyes are wide open for all that, please enjoy the read.

Walt Pickut

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Walt Pickut
Walt Pickut’s writing career began with publishing medical research in1971 while working at the Jersey City Medical Center and the NYU Hospital and School of Medicine. Walt holds board registries in respiratory care and sleep technology as well as bachelor's degrees in biology and communication, and a master's degrees in physiology from Fairleigh-Dickinson University in New Jersey, with additional graduate work in mass communication completed at SUNY Amherst. He currently teaches Presentational Speaking in the Houghton College PACE program at JCC and holds memberships in the Society of Professional Journalists and the American Society of Business Publication Editors. He lives in Jamestown with his wife Nancy, an MSW social worker, and has three children: Dr. Cait Lamberton in Pittsburgh, Bill Pickut, a marketing executive in Chicago, and Rev. Matt Pickut in Plymouth, IN.