I know I’ve told this story to a number of people before, but here it is again for the uninitiated. In October of 1996, Sheri and I celebrated our 14th anniversary, and she was diagnosed with endometrial cancer. It was an incredibly scary time for us. Just heading into Fall, with all the Ohio landscape turning brown and dying, Sheri prayed that she would see Spring again, with its warmth and colors, and most of all teeming with signs of green life bursting everywhere. With surgery and radiation, she did indeed see the world turn green again, and we celebrated. And so began a special ritual for us, every Spring, welcoming the Green.
I don’t believe in the doctrine of predestination, that God has an absolute plan for every moment of your life down to what necktie you’ll choose to wear today. I’m an artist. I know that God sculpted into me that spark of creativity that is an adventure of exploring possibilities, and I have no doubt, that is a reflection of his own image. She’s not going to tell me someday, “Nope, it was a farce, I was pulling your strings the whole time. And you thought you had free will!”
However, I do believe that God may on occasion call you to a particular task for which you are well-suited, even if you don’t know you have the required skill. God says, “One day, there’s going to be this kid from Wapokeneta who is destined for great things, but he’s going to need a bit of inspiration. Who do I have available, let’s see… Yeah, Jamie, that’s it, and you’re going to convey that inspiration in a graphic novel. Ha, and your teacher thinks you drawing funny pictures is a bad thing…” Read the rest of this entry →
An anonymous quote states it well, “Gay Pride was not born of a need to celebrate being gay, but our right to exist without persecution. So instead of wondering why there isn’t a Straight Pride movement, be thankful you don’t need one.” What began as Gay Pride has enlarged to include the LGBT community, and it is almost universally celebrated in June, while occasionally in other communities in other months. But if it’s Pride in June, it’s LGBT Pride.
Except in Canton, Ohio. Canton has a monthly downtown arts festival, as do other arts communities, called First Friday. Each of these monthly First Friday events has a different theme. There was February’s “Frosty Frolic,” April’s “Masquerade,” and coming this month, June’s “Pride.” Wait, that’s not quite right. June’s First Friday theme is “Canton Pride.” Isn’t that nice? Read the rest of this entry →
D- Drink you last had: Chocolate milk. Because it’s primo with lasagna.
E- Easiest Person To Talk to: Nobody is easy for me to talk to. There are people who are easy to chat with and easy to be with, but if the intent of this statement is people it’s easy to reveal myself to, then it’s nobody. Read the rest of this entry →
When I was a kid I adored my oldest brother Tim and his wife Sue. They married when he was in the Navy serving in ‘Nam and she lived with my family for a year until he was discharged. It was like magically gaining another adult sister, and I’ve always loved her just that way, even many years later when she is no longer an actual in-law. She was beautiful and sophisticated to my mind, big eyes and makeup and teased hair. I remember them coming to surprise me at school when he was home on leave, and with pride how the other elementary age boys in my class ogled her.
I stayed with them in their first apartment for a weekend while my folks were out of town and made a pest of myself, teasing Sue like an 11-year-old little brother would. I remember that apartment and that weekend with special magical fondness: Sue making her fabulous scratch pizza, hearing my brother explain Iron Butterfly’s In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida and its horrible story late at night before falling asleep on their wicker couch.
The next day they took me home and my brother unveiled to us all a special painting he had had commissioned of Sue: an oil “Glamor Shots” of the day. Read the rest of this entry →