This past weekend me and the wife took a drive to a small town here in central Arizona called Yarnell. Now Yarnell has become somewhat famous because of the horrible wildfire that decimated the town and took the lives of 19 brave men known as the Granite Mountain Hotshots. The recent film “Only the Brave” was based on this fire and its aftermath.
I’m happy to say the town is bouncing back bravely, and there are several interesting shops doing business there. While browsing through one that featured the work of several local artists and craftspeople, I noticed more than a few renderings of pigs with wings. Some of glazed ceramic in bright colors. Some in bronze. Some of red pottery clay. Even a cast iron wall hanger with a small flying pig.
And it made me think of John Steinbeck.
As I wrote earlier, I’m reading Steinbeck’s “East of Eden” and getting very close to finishing it. (Great gnashing of teeth can be heard if you listen carefully). Anyway, as I learned from the book’s introductory notes, Steinbeck had a personal logo that he used on nearly all of his personal correspondence; a small drawing of a pig with wings. True story. He described it as symbolizing himself as “a lumbering soul but trying to fly.”
His logo also had a Latin motto reading “Ad Astra Per Alia Porci.” Which translated means, “To the stars on the wings of a pig.”
I love John Steinbeck.
And I REALLY want one of those flying pigs.