Kambriel di Lorenzia, born in Genoa and raised in Venice, had an abiding passion for cowboys. Perhaps it was all the water surrounding her, but she could watch westerns (spaghetti or otherwise) all day long. Those grizzled cowboys staring, squinty-eyed, over vast and dusty plains – they captured her imagination like nothing else. Once she had finished university, she begged for a trip to the west where she was sure she would find some real life cowboys guiding their horses through solemn throngs of brooding buffalo. Sitting in a decrepit diner in the middle of Oklahoma, choking down what passed for a cup of coffee, she could not remember being more disappointed. Where were the ghost towns? Where were the Indians? Where were the damn cowboys??? Poking around in her purse for some change to pay the bill, she glanced up to see a tall drink of water of a man in the doorway, backlit by the setting sun. She drew in her breath so quickly, she inhaled her horrible coffee and began coughing violently. He was at her table in a flash, proffering his outstretched hand: “Lozenge?” he drawled. Kambriel nearly swooned. Her coughing fit culminated in a decidedly un-dainty sneeze and the man did an admirable job of suppressing a laugh. He tipped his hat towards her and put out his hand again: “Dallas Dorado at your service, ma’am.” She invited him to sit down in her broken English, and soon was telling him of the Old West she had hoped to visit. The very next day he accompanied her to a real life Indian reservation at which she purchased the gen-you-wine handcrafted pipe you see here, and some special “tobacky” that Dallas recommended. She never stopped to think where Indians might have found a giant nautilus shell in land-locked Oklahoma, but never mind. And back in Venice, every time she smoked the pipe, she was visited by the most fantastic creatures, just as the old Indian promised she would be. He called them Spirit Guides. Kambriel called them the old west she had dreamed of and so much more.
This original artwork and story are copyright Ramona Szczerba 2008. Neither image nor story can be reproduced without my express written permission. Thanks!