Thursday, October 14, 2021

More of one thing leading to another / Sandra Hard: Freedom Summer 1964 / Postscript


This morning I found this quote at whiskey river:

"What does it mean to be radical, to tell radical stories in our time, to win the battle of the story? The North American tradition seems to focus its activity on the exposé, the telling of the grim underside of what we know: the food is poison, the system is corrupt, the leaders are lying, the war is failing. There is a place for this, but you cannot base a revolution on the bad things the status quo forgot to mention. You need to tell the stories they are not telling, to learn to see where they are blind, to look at how the great changes of the world come from the shadows and the margins, not center stage, to see where we're winning and that we can win something that matters, if not everything all the time."

 - Rebecca Solnit

A while later, something prompted me to take a good look at a pencil drawing my mother bought for me in 1970 or 1971.  I believe that she bought it at an arts and crafts fair on Skyline Boulevard on the San Francisco Peninsula but I can't be sure.  I decided to try to photograph it to show here on my blog.  It was difficult to photograph because of reflections and poor lighting.  I remember that my mother told me that the artist's name was Gary Dungan and that the drawing was of his wife.  They lived in Half Moon Bay.  It turned out that my R had been acquainted with Gary Dungan and that Gary had taught R some guitar/banjo finger-picking which R then taught me.   

Out of curiosity, I googled Gary Dungan and found that a Gary Lane Dungan (see signature on drawing -- GLD) had lived with his first wife in Half Moon Bay, California, and had died in Florida in 2004 and that his first wife's maiden name was Sandy Hard.  With a little more googling, I found the following website, which includes historical papers and letters of Sandy Hard.  The letters were written in Mississippi and sent to family in California in the summer of 1964.

Of course, I can't be sure but my gut feeling was that the woman in the drawing is the same woman who participated in Freedom Summer 1964.  I have always been inspired by the spiritual strength and beauty I saw in the woman in the drawing.  More googling showed a Sandy H. Dungan who was born in 1942 and died in 2000 in Northern California.  I feel certain there is a connection, and I'm continually astonished by what one can discover when one sets out on an internet search.  



Just now, something prompted me to move the drawing from the walk-in closet, where it has been since October 1984, to the wall in my bedroom.

This drawing of mine in chalk pastel will be moved to the empty space in the walk-in closet:

Imaginary Brother as Botanist (1984) 

Suddenly I realize that the man in the drawing reminds me of my nephew who was born in 1993.  Of course, my nephew is much younger than the man in my drawing.  Because of a family estrangement, I have not seen my nephew since he was 10 years old.  It was in 1984 that I traded this drawing for a tapestry woven by my friend who died last year in December.  She brought it with her when she moved from Bellingham to St. Louis to Eugene to Norway and then back to Bellingham where it was on the wall of her apartment and then on the wall of the assisted care facility room where she lived for several months.  She had it in the lovely room in the memory care unit where she lived at the end of her life.  She chose it because it reminded her of her older brother.

Here's the tapestry I received in trade:

One thing leading to another.


Anonymous said...

I loved reading about this internet journey inspired by the beauty of this art.

Tara said...

Hello, old friend. I, too, loved reading about your internet journey. And then the journey of this wonderful drawing you made and how many places it has been, only to return to the creator's hands. Wild.

What prompted your friend to move back to Bellingham after all those journeys? There's a story there.

am said...

Tara! Good to hear from you!

My friend moved to Norway to be with her daughter, son-in-law, and grandson. That was also why she had moved to Eugene. She moved from Eugene to Norway after having a stroke. There were immigration difficulties along with her inability to learn Norwegian and resulting social isolation. Because she had group of old friends here in Bellingham, she decided to return here. As a team, we helped her through her last years of life. Of course, everything was complicated by COVID. Her daughter and grandson had come to spend a year Bellingham during her daughter's sabbatical to help Linda during her time in the memory care unit. They had to leave abruptly and return to Norway about six months before they had planned to return to Norway.

Pixie said...

Beautiful art work and so many connections.