Sunday, April 10, 2016

a hand-drawn sketch of betty miller & melvin miller as a surprise gift from alice gerhart.

a surprise for betty miller and melvin miller slowly took shape literally at the hands of alice gerhart after the poetry reading where they were all guests at the center at spring street in boyertown, the area's senior center, in march.

since gerhart is a retired public school art teacher who is almost 90, and she's still teaching art to her fellow seniors, she agreed to do a sketch of the millers, combining two older separate pictures of them from this poetry project so that they appeared side-by-side in her final scene.

the three of them knew each other lightly from having lunch at the senior center, and gerhart's paintings are on the walls of the main room where everyone eats.

it took gerhart 12 hours to do the sketch of the millers, but once she did, she called me to let me know she'd finished it and had put a matte around it. i then called the millers to ask if i could stop by last thursday evening to drop something off for them and noted that i'd be in the neighborhood, which was technically true by making the arrangement in the first place.

that night, i picked up gerhart and her wonderful beau, alvin behm, and we drove to the millers' home. we knocked on the door, said hello, walked in, and gerhart gave them the unanticipated gift of the sketch.

melvin described the sketch as excellent and told gerhart she'd been very gracious to do this for him and his wife. everyone chatted for a while about life, family, and art, before we said goodbye. 

it feels so soul-hugging to know these three are all a part of this poetry project, now connected in a new and more heart-oriented way, because of being tied together through the poems that spell out their memories in manufacturing jobs from long ago in our county.

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