I forgot where I left my memories
It’s not fair to suggest I’m eccentric because of a few things I do that are different. Being ordinary or predictable is no fun. Let’s talk about stretching the norms, and I’ll use literature as an example.
A book doesn’t have to be just another inanimate object that’s bored and forgotten on a sagging shelf? Why not give it some personality? Let me illustrate my point.
On page 114 of Ken Tankersley’s book, In Search of Ice Age Americans, he wrote about the Crook County Clovis artifacts that were found buried in red ochre. A few of us went to the remote site in Wyoming and I collected some of the pigment. To get to the exact spot we received permission to take a fence down, drive cross-country through gullies, dales, and a few sage-brush flats, so we did.
I smudged some of the ocher on page 114 adjacent to where Ken speaks of a Clovis fluted knife. Scholars might say it was a stupid waste of time and I was just weird for doing it. And to reinforce their point, twenty-two pages later I did it again
But think about how educational it will be a hundred years from now when someone reads my copy of the book. Who says we can’t influence the future?
I always make a few unique copies of the books I write.
They’re just something distinctive for me to keep for myself. This is one of them.
This is my first biography of Joseph Henry Sharp, who was born two years before the Civil War started and lived until the year Peggy and I were married. That won’t reveal my age but may explain why I don’t remember things like I used to. The book has hand marbled end-papers, and an original oil painting blatantly emblazoned upon its cover. “Smooth idea Forrest, but don’t you think it’s a little curious?”
Hand marbled end paper
Nicolai Fechin is one of my favorite artists. I wrote a book about him and published another. When celebrities came in our gallery or stayed in one of our guest houses I asked them to sign my Fechin book. I always wanted to schmooze, maybe go to lunch with them, or dinner, hoping some of their mojo would rub off on me. It never did, but at least I got 8 pages of autographs:
Ginger Rogers, Karen Allen, Sam Shepard, Jessica Lange, Shari Lewis & Lamb Chops, Suzanne Somers, Lillian Gish, Ray Bolger & the Scarecrow, Johnathan Winters, Joe Foss, David Rockefeller, John Connelly, Greer Garson, Gene Hackman, Georgia O’Keeffe, Martha Hyer, Hal Wallace, Steven Spielberg & ET, Jackie Kennedy, Shirley MacLaine, Tab Hunter, Cesar Romero, Sam Elliot, Katherine Ross, Byron Nelson, Steve Martin, E. G. Marshall, Dick Van Dyke, Cher, Roger Miller, Sandy Duncan, Jane Russell, Ellsworth Bunker, Larry Hagman & JR, Dinah Shore, Richard Avedon, Whitey Ford, Robin Olds, President Gerald Ford, H. R. Haldeman, Doc Severson, and a host of others, especially artists. Fun stuff.
Roaming through my book shelves is a favorite pastime on snowy days and nights, especially when I look through a book that has original documents or drawings bound in.
To assist my memory I sometimes tip mementos in a book to remind me of business deals that didn’t work, and also make silly notes that help me remember whose book it is.
OK, I’ll admit to having a few abstract philosophies, and sometimes I’m weird, but my fear is that someone might say I’m typical.