C. Dale Rogerson
The mere thought twisted my stomach. Nothing spelled ‘orphan’ like special events did. First, Mother’s Day Brunch. Great, if you could get her sober enough to come, if she’d come at all. Then, Father’s day. Oh, I hated the Father Daughter banquets. With nothing but a dead father, no use in attending. And now, this…a Sibling’s Dance. Only had half-brothers, one killed in Vietnam and the other strung out on drugs somewhere.
‘You going?’ Garylee asked.
‘I could adopt you for the night.’ He offered.
I headed down the hall. I wouldn’t be anyone’s ‘charity date’.
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“Warrior Brother”. C. Starfire McQuinn, 2017.
Many of us have the honor of having Warrior Brothers…. Brothers in Arms and in Spirit. This gentleman is mine. He was a sniper in ‘Nam, and taught me all I needed to know about weapons and hitting my target while terrified out of my skull. Today, I just wanted to take a moment to honor him, his service to our country, and his ongoing service to our people and all the children who love him dearly. He has spent his life mentoring many who would have been lost, me included.
So, last night, I got out my sketcher and drew one of my favorite pictures of him. He’s playing a morning blessing song I’m sure that he wrote himself. It is beautiful as it dances out across the dawn’s color show. Next month, when I get to see him in person, I shall give this to him. By then, I’ll have removed it from the book and had it matted and framed.
‘There’s nothing quite like it…’ I heard the instructor say as she held up a small stick of graphite. ‘…You’ll love it by the end of class.’
I held the stick in my hand and sighed. Paper hung on the easel, blank. I gulped.
‘Now, close your eyes and think of your favorite thing. Then, with eyes still closed, start to draw. It doesn’t have to be perfect, doesn’t have to make sense to anyone but you. Just draw.’ The instructor encouraged.
Closed eyes, stick to paper, I drew… Bicycle…the escape vehicle of my youth.
A drawing done from a collection of random photos at a Lenten study.
The photo from the table really called straight to my heart. Maybe because it reminds me so much of my own childhood. I grew up in a less than ideal situation. My bicycle was my only means of transportation until I graduated from college. It was my mainstay, my escape. Art as well served as a way to escape and relax for a while. My Mom, when she wasn’t drunk or high was quite an artist herself. I learned first from her… shade here, stipple that. Coloring was serious business in our home. The more real it looked the happier I was. I lost this ability in a car accident in 1996, and have been “riding on” to regain the skill. This drawing of the little girl is the first that really comes even close to the realism I could once create. Dare I to say that I’m just a little proud of myself in the accomplishment.