About the Words
I wrote these words between August of 2007 and August of 2009. I planned a few; most just poured out of me as I learned to live a different life. When I decided to publish, I knew I wanted art. I looked for art, commissioned art, and couldn’t find what I was looking for. I never expected I could find art that would fit, yet I did.
About the Artists
The art in this book is truly a gift, beyond my imagination. It is not only the art, but also who provided it to me that is so is amazing.
The first artist is Steve Gramling. Steve was one of Simon’s best friends, and mentioned in the Mountains story. Longtime friends, together they summited Mt. Rainier at 14,411 feet in Seattle and Mt. Aconcagua, 22,842 feet in Argentina. In between, they and others climbed about a dozen of the Colorado 14’ers. Steve was with Simon in the mountains when the first symptoms appeared. They had reached the Summit at 12,550 feet, and Steve truly got Simon down from the Pawnee Pass in Colorado. Steve was a rock for me, and has always loved painting. He was gracious to let me pour though his work and choose what I wanted. A rugby player, high school coach and artist, Steve lives in Wauwatosa, WI. A donation from all his works of art will go to the Leukemia Society.
The second artist is my adorable, slightly feisty, new father-in-law, Joe Perez, who is 83 at the time of this writing. Known more for being a coach, he was also the Appleton East High School art teacher for 47 years. He is accomplished in many styles of painting and drawing, metal and wood sculptures and jewelry. He has permanent exhibits. When I asked if he had anything stashed in his basement, he said no – he didn’t think so. (He had not looked at in 20 years or so.) His wife, Lucy, was adamant and said it was time to bring it up from the basement. We spent 2 to 3 hours poring through an amazing collection, and I chose many for this book. His “Three Women” paintings especially took my breath away. In art, he had painted the progression of my life of those 24 months, years before ever meeting me. All works with his art will have a donation to the Joe Perez Scholarship Foundation.
Beauty? Fate? Ironic? Amazing? That the art in this book so beautifully goes with words I wrote 10 years ago, without ever seeing the art. And the art was created without ever seeing the words. And the art is from my past and my current life. A beautiful circle.