By Lark Starkey
“I don’t understand how people believe in unicorns when there are so many unbelievable and wonderful things that exist in our own world.” – One of the many words of wisdom I gathered from Ray Troll as he casually supervised Memo Jauregi in the painting of what would become the bright, blue, and fantastic Local Seafood Mobile.
As the van underwent its transformation, it turned from white, to baby blue, to baby blue with comic book like outlines, to its full glory in my very own garage. I watched Memo work and offered coffee and food as a contribution to the creative process. Ray would stop by occasionally, swooping me up and away from the office for a mini photo shoot, offering Memo advice on the placement of pectoral fins among other fins, and a few expertly placed sharpie marks.
After Memo finished the paint job, working until midnight and flying out at 1am, Ray showed up on my lazy Sunday morning to finish up some details. I was soon enlisted to help in the cleanup and unofficial unmasking of the van in all its grandeur. Between peeling off strips of masking tape I learned about the other passions of Ray – sharks and geology, two interests which have resulted in Ray being a big part of the reveal of the helicoprion fossil, a prehistoric shark with a bizarre saw like wheel of teeth (look it up – it is really stranger and more fantastical than unicorns). As the evening drew to a close, I found myself cruising around with Ray on a test drive of the van around our sleepy neighborhood. That night we ended up discussing toxics in our environment, our passion for the natural world, how that led him to fish art, and he offered some well placed life advice.
Now after the fact, it seems very lucky I was able to make these connections with Memo and Ray. And of course, the Local Seafood Mobile looks awesome! See it for yourself around town at farmers markets, festivals, and events throughout Southcentral Alaska (check out AMCC’s Calendar and Events page for more). We’ll be selling seafood and talking about buying local in Alaska. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram at #LocalSeafoodMobile. We hope to see you soon!