Friday, September 21, 2007
Tuesday, August 21, 2007
Wednesday, April 4, 2007
Palette portraits were the featured guests during a rare gallery showing in Kalamazoo several years ago. Most of the visitors appreciated the novelty of this new approach to representational art, but one inebriated gentleman referred to them as "the most disgusting vile pieces of crap" he had ever seen. So I said to him, "Look dad, no one asked you to drop by in the first place" Seriously, I adored my father-But the man who confronted me was in fact a well respected patron of the arts.
To an artist there is no such thing as a bad reputation; I only wished that he had written of his displeasure in the newspaper.
Sunday, March 18, 2007
Thursday, March 15, 2007
Matt Urban was a necessary friend for me. His kindness and generosity smoothed the tattered edges to a time in my life when I had lost everything.
Twelve years after my final meal with him, I can still see Matt sitting at the dinner table describing the silhouettes of German soldiers moving in a straight line off in the distance. He raises his arm and draws the shape of a tank with his finger in the air, then points out the window toward the row of juniper trees in his backyard and begins to explain how the Nazis camouflaged their gun turrets to resemble the shape and texture of the Normandy hillside. All around me is the sound of crispy frost covered grass being stepped on by our own men as they move in closer to the hedgerows. "If I pretend hard enough it sounds like my mom frying bacon." a hungry sergeant Evans whispers.
The men of the 9th Division are preparing for the true nature of war, not the fairy tale legends of their exploits in magazines back home, but the real agony, the real tangibility of death. Suddenly, the nervous whispering stops and all at once there is this odd soft patting sound, as every man unconsciously touches the left side of the chest, to feel for the folded letter or favorite picture from home.
Glove less hands are reaching down to braille the bullets and the comforting shape of the rifle's barrel and sight. Matt looks over to me and asks if I would like more to eat before we go on. There is the sound of a metal spoon tapping out the last bit of mashed potatoes on my plate. "Oh, Thank you Jenny." I say to Mrs. Urban. Matt is pouring me another cup of coffee. "I always made sure my men had hot coffee." he says with a smile, holding back the tears.
Matt Urban Books (Used, New, Out-of-Print) - AlibrisThe Matt Urban Story: Life & World War Two Experiences · more books like this. by Matt Urban, Charles F Conrad, Kenneth Morford (Illustrator) ...www.alibris.com/search/books/author/Urban,%20Matt - 36k - Cached - Similar pages
Tuesday, March 13, 2007
Sunday, March 11, 2007
I know you are sick of hearing about the 60s. Me too. But I will never forget the night Bobby Kenndy was assasinated. My older brother Dan was home from college and came running upstairs to wake me. We went down to watch the still unfolding drama on our little black and white television. Father had just come home from work and was sitting there shaking his head in disbelief. " My God" he mumbled, "...what is going on in this country?"