Artist’s Journal: NUMBER 99

If you pick up a starving dog

and make him prosperous

he will not bite you.

This is the principal difference

between a dog and man.

Mark Twain

 

DRAWING: Graphite on Arches paper, Miami 1977

It’s the end of 2017 and a few hours away from 2018. I have been in a philosophical mood all day.

This is a bit of an unusual Artist’s Journal entry. It began as a couple of posts on Facebook. 

I was driving by St. Mary’s Home, the old orphanage in New Bedford last night and was jolted by the memory of an old friend who, perhaps without realizing it, affected my life immensely.

Lorenzo Fermin Andrade (Larry) was the individual who was instrumental in getting me into the University of Miami where I attended on a full-ride scholarship and instructor of record assistantship. Larry passed away a few years ago.

May God bless and keep you Larry for your memory is a blessing indeed. Oh, the orphanage? Larry and his family escaped Cuba on a rubber raft and they were separated.

He ended up, if memory serves me right, at St. Joseph’s Orphanage in Fall River. I can’t recall for sure if this is correct since I heard it second-hand and never discussed it with Larry. He reunited with his mom years later in Miami and applied for the MFA program at the University of Miami.

The department chair saw slides of my work that Larry had. He was a year ahead of me at Southeastern Massachusetts University. He was told to tell me to apply.

The rest, as they say, is history. What Larry did, and I recall his enthusiastic phone call, became a major linchpin in my life. 

So, I guess the moral of the story is that you never really know how one simple thing that you do for someone can turn out to be so significant.

Serendipity? Coincidence? Karma? A lesson I learned during one of my darkest hours when my dad and step-mom were challenged with their health and mortality. In one of the many times I waited in an emergency room for one of them, I had a revelation.

Religious beliefs and dogma aside, we are here to be of service to each other. If we took care of each other, things would be a lot better. No one is perfect but we are all capable of perfection.

Looking at 2018 with much optimism and enthusiasm as well as the hope of providing someone with a linchpin for their lives. Happy New Year!

Posted on: 31/12/2017, by :
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