Thursday, December 17, 2015

Week 50: Brandon (in The Roundabout Waltz)

   The Roundabout Waltz books continue with Week 50's book-of-the-week, Brandon. The little board car for Brandon is covered in red pastepaper, with yellow pastepaper headlights and blue pastepaper windows. The black luggage rack is paper from the French Paper Company. 

the Brandon car (story) on The Roundabout Waltz

When the little car isn't riding around the roundabouts, it can be stored in the little box garage along with the other story cars in the series.. Sadie, Maxie, and Wally. There are five partitions in the cigar style box, with an extra spot for one more car... The garage is covered with pastepaper and a gray Japanese print paper. The hinge is made with Japanese silk bookcloth.

out of its box garage and driving on the roundabout

The tiny 1 x 1-inch accordion book (luggage) is covered in red and gold-checked Japanese chiyogami paper. The story is digitally printed on white text paper..

the Brandon story as luggage, unfolding out of the luggage rack

Close-up of Brandon title page

the unfolding accordion book, Brandon on The Roundabout Waltz 

This is the story Brandon...

   Brandon’s been living in Raleigh all his life. He grew up in North Raleigh in one of those new, pine-treed neighborhoods with bonus-roomed McMansions and a soccer goal in every backyard. The mom’s drove Volvo station wagons and the Dads worked at RTP as engineers or scientists, or managers of engineers or scientists. 
   But in 2008 Brandon’s dad got laid off. That was wierd and scary  It happened right before Christmas. Really! Five days before Christmas, Brandon’s dad came home from work.. they’d had the office party that afternoon…Brandon’s mom had made her special Jam Shortbread cookies for all his co-workers. She’d bought Christmasy gift bags and stuffed each with a Ziplock baggie of cookies and a wad of tissue…and tied three colors of ribbon on top, taking the time to curl each ribbon strand with the scissors. Brandon’s dad had left that morning with arms full of red and green gift bags… When Brandon and his mom and little brother, Seth, came home from basketball practice they found his dad sitting at the kitchen table in the dark with a glass of whiskey in front of him. He was pale and his hands shook as he lifted the crystal glass to his lips.
   “What’s up?” said Brandon’s mom as she flipped on the light and the boys charged to the den.. Brandon thought he heard something about a pink ship. He wondered if they were going on a cruise for Christmas. Later that night, his parents gathered the boys in the den and he heard it was a PINK SLIP..  His dad had been laid off. And starting in two weeks he would be on UNEMPLOYMENT. His parents told the boys that there wouldn’t be many more movies and dinners out. The Christmas presents were bought and couldn’t be returned, but they would ECONOMIZE from now on… until his dad got a new job. Maybe they would have to MOVE…
   The boys were determined to make the best of things and on Christmas morning ripped into all the presents like crazy! All the new computer games were played with... multiple times, the sports equipment played with wildly in the backyard, new clothes donned, the candy bars and sweets in their stockings ripped open and devoured. On the surface it could have been any Christmas, but under all the glitter, it seemed like it was their last. The two boys savored every minute of that Christmas of 2008. The coming year they learned to pull together. And they grew up…  in more ways than just height and shoe size. As Brandon drives his red Honda into the roundabout at Hillsboro Street and Pullen Road, on the way to his engineering class at NCSU, he remembers that year… the feeling of spinning out of control, trying to steer around the whole thing, and the change in himself as it all happened. Just like the view from the other side of the roundabout… he saw things totally different.
                                                           The End

The Roundabout Waltz and its parking garage box

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