“Be an example. Show kindness to unkind people. Forgive people who don’t deserve it.
Love unconditionally. Your actions always reflect who you are.”
One of the things I’m proudest of in this life is being from Morgan County Kentucky. One of the reasons that makes me so proud is because of these sweet people right here: David and Rebecca Campbell, Jenny Bell, Jodi Stacy, Lori Campbell, and Jim Bob and Pam Meade. They all drove nearly two hours to see my exhibit.I can’t tell you how that touched me. Each of them hold a special place in my heart.
“The law of harvest is to reap more than you sow. Sow an act, and you reap a habit.
Sow a habit and you reap a character. Sow a character and you reap a destiny.”
~ James Allen
I had a guest register available at the reception. I didn’t realize I’d forgotten it until I went to bed Friday night. I attended All Saints Day service this morning and picked it up afterward. Sixty people attended Friday’s reception. Sixty people took time out of their lives to come see my work. Some I’d never met before Friday. Some sneaked in and out without my seeing them though they were kind enough to leave their signature. Some drove nearly two hours to be there. Some took off work. Some were recovering from major surgery. Some couldn’t stay long, and others stayed the whole time. Someone pointed out how many segments of my life were assembled in that room: family, close friends, old friends, new friends, co-workers, writers, actors, artists, musicians, librarians, bankers, software developers, railroad men, professors, social workers, therapists, pathologists, nutritionists, the list goes on. They’re not all represented in this collage, but I couldn’t think of a better way to have a group hug in the outhouse. Sixty people. I may be speechless for a week I’m so overcome with gratitude.
“When you least expect it something great will come along. Something better than you ever planned for.
Be patient. Be smart. Stay focused.” ~ Unknown
The bank is gone but the vault remains. This is the backside of the vault that sits in DeLancey Park. It’s a glimpse of the advanced city Cannel City used to be. Every person that comes to Pickin’ in the Park helps promote the town’s memory, and its remaining sense of community. The latter has never been lost; buildings crumbled to dust but people never stopped being together in one way or another.
I didn’t get too many shots of folks yesterday. This, I learned the hard way, is the sacrifice I make by taking Wally along. He’s very good with people, and good with other dogs, but he seems to think horses, like squirrels, are something to be barked at. He also insists on walking, and that makes it nearly impossible to visit with anyone. That said, I did manage to sneak up on David Campbell yet again. I caught him at the concession stand completely unaware of my lens. Another gotcha moment.
As Ron Gevedon (top with camera) pointed out, the next generation of Cannel Citian needs to step up and take an interest in this event. Right now, I think they’re busy playing in the park. That is as it should be, and it will help them understand how important this place and these people are one day. We’ll all benefit from their memories, as they are benefiting from ours.
“Keep your face to the sunshine and you cannot see the shadow. It’s what sunflowers do.”
~ Helen Keller
This time of year my sedum begins to turn deep pink. Bees adorn the blush plateau like gemstones gobbling up the last of season’s nectar. Some people are like sedum. Like bees to sedum, we’re drawn to them because they’re kind, intelligent, creative, and fun. They are god’s nectar. Pam Oldfield Meade is like sedum for all those reasons and more. I’ve known her so long I don’t remember the first time I saw her. She has been a tireless advocate for the arts in the foothills of Kentucky. I watched her lead a ragtag group of disparate artists and turn them into a cohesive force of good in the community. I had long ago backed off exhibitions because of the time and expense it takes to do them, but Pam won’t let me fold completely. Every time she’s involved with an exhibit, like yesterday’s Pickin’ in the Park, she invites me to join her. I love her for thinking of me, for always encouraging me, for never leaving me behind, and for believing that my work is good enough to be shown. But more than that, Pam is an inspiration. Over the last three decades I have watched her artistic muscles stretch from simple folk art to complex, multifaceted work that imbues Eastern Kentucky art with a mature vocabulary that’s second to none. I want to grow as an artist as she has grown, and find a voice that’s as beautiful and true as hers. Pam is a great artist and an even better friend. I would be lost without her. How lucky am I? Pretty dang lucky.