The State of Grahama’s House by Graham McLeod
Many of you may have heard about the situation with Grahama’s House, but I wanted to make sure everyone got the real facts about what had/is happening with our beloved art car. I apologize in advance for the novella here.
Grahama’s House was a project that I devised about a year ago, the largest for me to date, in which our camp and community of friends came together to bring a new element to the playa in the form of an art car and performance art. We didn’t really know what it would turn into when we first embarked on this process and there was a lot of doubt as to whether it would even get finished, but we got it done down to the wire. I financed most all of it (with a significant contribution from Red Sonja and the camp) with the bulk of the work being done by Michael and myself. It took us months and thousands of dollars to build. As it progressed, more people came on board (Chase and Antje were early contributors) and eventually the entire camp came together to help with all the final touches that really make it what it is today.
We never dreamed that it would make appearances at multiple events outside of Burning Man (Decompression, Treasure Island Music Festival, Opulent Temple Massive, even a music video). Even more surprising was how positively people responded to it as its identity became more and more pronounced with our friends developing their own granny identities themselves (Eamon’s Grahama being the most notable). The details inside/outside the house alone make it truly a remarkable work of art and I am very proud to have been a part of making it and sharing it with people.
A couple of weeks ago we noticed a transmission fluid leak, which we had to get resolved before our big party on Treasure Island with Opulent Temple. To sum up the story, we attempted a solution, but on the way to the party the engine caught fire twice and essentially disabled the engine. However, since we were on Caltrans territory they had to tow us for free and since the nearest place was treasure island we finagled a tow to the event. We rocked the event without a hitch and had a blast. It finally made it off the island yesterday and back to Nimby where it can live for about 6 months (I just paid the rent).
Woodshop (Jason) took a look at it for me to give me an idea of how salvageable of a situation this is. The good news is it can be fixed and live at Nimby for a while immobilized, the bad news is it will cost around $2000. It has always been a labor of love for me and I have dealt with all the trials that come with owning an art car from the get go. I have done a ridiculous amount of things (many times with help) to keep us from losing it altogether. It has also cost me an arm and a leg and I have basically been paying for it’s survival directly out of my pockets for the past year (minimally supplemented by a couple of events). I accepted that responsibility and because people loved it so much (and were not able to contribute financially), I was willing to sacrifice any extra money I had to keep it afloat. This whole experience has really broke my heart because every part of me wants to save her, but I know I can’t pay for it anymore. I feel like I am letting people down by not doing so, considering how much everyone has put into it and all the great experiences we’ve had with it.
If $2000 fell into my lap, I would eagerly put all the time and effort necessary to get her running and up to the playa again. However, I have resigned myself to the reality that Grahama’s House may have had her last run.This has been really hard for me, but the memories of Grahama’s will live on and I am really happy we all got to share it with all of you. I will keep you posted on the status. Thank you all so much.