The Ultimate Academy
by Andrew Walther & Alice Kinser
I THINK OF THE ULTIMATE AS A FISH HATCHERY AND EVERYONE SWIMS AROUND TO BEACH BOYS MUSIC AND THEY BLOW UP THEIR CHEEKS WHILE SUCKING ON THE WINDOW PANES
I THINK OF THE ULTIMATE AS A MAJESTIC DAVID WITH A DUMB GRIN
In the summer you can sit in the sun in front of the Ultimate, drink beer from the kiosk across the street and watch the one-way traffic going up and down Mozartstrasse.
I THINK OF THE ULTIMATE AS A FEED AND GRAIN STORE WITH A NUDIE CALENDAR ON THE WALL AND DUSTY SACKS EVERYWHERE
The courtyard behind the Ultimate is a great place for performances but the upstairs neighbors don’t like the noise.
I THINK OF THE ULTIMATE IN THE EARLY MORNING DEW WITH WILD FLOWERS WAVES OF CLOVER AND FAUNS AND FAIRIES SLIDING AROUND ON HORSESHIT
The radiator in front of the window is the best seat in the house during winter.
I THINK OF THE ULTIMATE AS A POWER BOOSTER STATION WITH IMPRESSIVE COILS AND SPECIAL GLASS AND CERAMIC INSULATORS AND A SIGN OUT FRONT SHOWING A MAN GETTING ZAPPED BY A LIGHTNING BOLT JUST LIKE ALICES UNCLE IRVING
The metal steps going down into the cellar can be quite slippery if you are drunk, stoned or in a hurry.
I THINK OF THE ULTIMATE AS A COIN OPERATED LAUNDROMAT
At various times over the years the rooms at the Ultimate have been used as atelier space, practice rooms for musicians, performance space, living quarters and exhibition space.
I THINK OF THE ULTIMATE AS THE ONLY PLACE IN TOWN THAT STILL SERVES A DECENT CUP OF COFFEE WHERE THE WAITRESS IS NAMED SALLY AND SHE STILL WEARS A BEEHIVE WITH PINK FROSTING AND THERE IS AMPLE PARKING AND FREE MATCHES
Within a one-block radius of the Ultimate is a drug store, sporting goods store, tobacco shop, bakery, Italian restaurant, Mexican restaurant, Vegetarian restaurant, cafe with outdoor tables, drink shop with a parking lot, florist, church, 2 kiosks, 2 butcher shops, 2 woody bars and a religious book store.
ALICE AND I ARE TRAVELLERS I WEAR AN EARRING AND ALICE WEARS SENSIBLE BOOTS ALICE AND I ARE ARTISTS WE WALK AROUND AND TELL EVERYBODY THAT ALICE AND I ARE AMERICANS WE TALK ABOUT OLD TELEVISION
Andrew and I are middle-aged. He has a beard and I have long hair. Andrew and I are backpackers. He carries the tent and sleeping bags in his pack and I carry the clothes and paperwork in mine. Andrew and I are artists. Andrew has been one for a long time but I am a runaway housewife. Andrew and I have been associated with the Ultimate Academy since 1989.