In the late 60’s my sister-in-law Patty worked in downtown Chicago as a journalist. Fresh from her graduation at Marquette, she became a REAL city girl, with a big-time job at a news station nestled in one of the skyscrapers.
Patty described it as a bustling, creative time for writers and artists of all sorts and she made a friend in Jud, who, despite his day job in graphic design, longed to JUST be an artist, a painter. And he was! Photo evidence above.
I believe this is the only piece he ever let go of. Admonishing his own skill, faulting his technique, he scoffed at Patty’s praise. Still, she wrestled it from him, insisting on preserving and framing this bold, black and white depiction of the Chicago financial district, circa 1968.
Since then, it’s logged more miles than some humans 😉. It’s a shared treasure. Residing first in Patty’s closet-sized apartment in Chicago, then migrating to the suburbs, eventually to Alaska and then back to the Midwest.
It’s a beloved piece, in part because of Jud’s humility. There’s been fake-family-fighting for years about who takes possession and for how long. We just referred to it as ‘the Jud’.
Today when I passed “the Jud”, nestled nicely in a picture-perfect spot in our entry way, I smiled. Patty jokingly said, maybe two years ago, “It’s time – I want MY Jud back” and we did the fake fighting and verbal tussling about it, telling her if she wanted it, she’d need to fly in from Alaska to fetch it. All in good fun.
I wrote about the importance of family mementos a few weeks ago, right after Patty passed away unexpectedly. Take a look at that post if you have a moment. The loss of her still stings; seems unreal.
My point? Remember those who’ve passed – however you can. Even if it’s just a city scene, painted by a dear man who will forever be an artist. Thanks to Patty.