Friday, May 25, 2012

Remembering, Memorial Day

Photo by Todd Heisler, 2006 Pulitzer Prize, Feature Photography.

When 2nd Lt. James Cathey's body arrived at the Reno Airport, Marines climbed into the cargo hold of the plane and draped the flag over his casket as passengers watched the family gather on the tarmac. During the arrival of another Marine's casket last year at Denver International Airport, Major Steve Beck described the scene as one of the most powerful in the process. "See the people in the windows? They sit right there in the plane, watching those Marines. You gotta wonder what's going through their minds, knowing that they're on the plane that brought him home," he said. "They're going to remember being on that plane for the rest of their lives. And they should."

Photo by Todd Heisler, 2006 Pulitzer Prize, Feature Photography.

Go here and begin with the first photo to read and see the whole story, including details about this photo . . . only if you are strong.

Go here to understand why remembering our past means so much to me. Enjoy your Memorial Day weekend and if you see a veteran, take a moment to thank him or her for serving your country.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Long Boats and A Long Way To Go

My Blog Wrangler is back! Sort of. Lately she's been wrangling apartment renovations (still ongoing but she's still on good terms with the contractor) and glaring at boxes that are in her way.  We still have about 50 zillion boxes in storage but her goal is to do one a day and be finished by Christmas.  I keep gently nudging her toward the 6 cartons marked "Dishes/Kitchen" but she's ignoring me so we continue using the Summer China (better known as paper plates) and eating a lot of take-out food.

Before all my art was packed up into boxes I took pictures of one of my latest efforts - boats. The one on the left has the weathered look I really like.
The original idea was to hang them on the wall somehow and thats the reason for the little hole in the bottom. But after fiddling around with them I couldn't actually figure out how I wanted to do it. All of the sudden I thought of fastening two together to make a pod. Susan suggested I might figure out a way to have them hinged so I could open the pod and put something in it. Somewhere in our pictures of our trip to New York City and Washington DC, which happened in the middle of our move, we have a picture of something similar. Once we find the camera again and upload the pictures I'll show you.

Thanks for keeping up with my blog.  Things are gradually getting back to normal, we are delighted with our apartment, have great neighbors and eventually I will have a studio set up and will begin cranking out whatever strikes my fancy. Where is the fancy, anyway?

Friday, May 18, 2012

Yesterday's Warrior

When I finally made it out of college it was 1966 and Vietnam was a dark shadow growing larger every day. I was young and thought I was bulletproof. My friend Jimmy and I decided we were true-blue American patriots and would serve our country by joining the Air Force and becoming fighter pilots. We would strut off to war, rule the air, collect medals, fend off adoring females and live a fantasy bachelor life.

Instead, we both got married, Jimmy died in a plane crash during pilot training and I wound up going to Vietnam to serve with a "Jolly Green Giant" helicopter rescue squadron that picked up pilots who had been shot down. That's how you get slam-dunked into being an adult.

I'd like to think I'd forgotten most of those 368 days of my life in Vietnam but somehow they float around in my subconscious. I made this piece early on in my reincarnation as an artist and never really thought too deeply about why I did it the way I did.  But you Blog Readers keep emailing me that you like my stories so Susan tells me I have to dig a little deeper. 

The figure does look like me; I wasn't free to leave Vietnam until the Air Force said I could; when I came back from Vietnam it was to a country that didn't like what I did so I kept quiet about it; and I tried to forget being there. My dog-tag, tucked into the wire around the figure, includes my blood type.

Today people tell me I'm a very "grounded" person. Maybe that slam-dunk in my 20's, followed by 32 years of having a corporate foot on the back of my neck made me "grounded". All I know is that making art makes me feel like I'm floating, light as a butterfly, all the time now.