Monday, May 30, 2011

Memorial Day

Last year on Memorial Day I went with my wife Lori to visit the Jefferson Barracks Cemetery in South St. Louis, where 182,000 American soldiers have been buried since the Civil War. I made a variety of drawings, few of which turned out, but the day served as a worthwhile scouting session. Some day I'll go back with a camera and a sketchbook, and something more significant will come of it.

A funny thing: in almost all cases, I make useful things on the second or third trip to a given location, and very rarely the first. Fact is, my experience of the place is more important than what it looks like, even though the latter matters plenty.

The drawing at the top of this post was made as folding chairs and the full complement of state flags were being taken down, after the ceremony.

More soon.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Benefits of the Back Row

Commencement took place a week ago, marking the end of the academic year. My colleague Stan Strembicki snapped this photograph of me as I plugged away at a New York Times crossword (it was a Tuesday puzzle, which made it doable) during the conferring of degrees. I do not know the woman on the left, who is a faculty member elsewhere in the university.

For the record, I paid attention during the speeches, including the address by Elie Wiesel, which I enjoyed, though he was intermittently difficult to hear.

I have not blogged in some time, and have acquired a backlog of material in the meantime. I pledge to post with some regularity in coming days and weeks, just to whittle the pile, and to get a few things off my chest.

Have a lovely Memorial Day weekend.