Tuesday, April 18, 2006

The Nourishing Stephen & Frances Mary

Since I've been reminiscing about Atlanta lately, it only makes sense to do a post devoted to two good - no...GREAT, friends of mine that I dearly miss. I've known them ever since my sophomore year at North Atlanta High School, back in...wow...1996 (or was it 1995?), when I was a shy, budding, young artist and student.

Stephen was our high school's answer to the lack of VISUAL arts at our performing arts magnet school. While the magnet focused primarily on theater, music, and annual tour shows, Stephen ushered in his vast expertise with all areas visual. He is a true Renaissance man, knowledgeable not only in art, but in drawing, painting, photography, art history, literature, and journalism. He was my educational rock. And I can't think of a better person to have filled that role. We became intrigued with each other, and due to occasional rides home from school, etc, I met his equally brilliant wife, Frances Mary.

Frances Mary was also a teacher, but she specialized in teaching the blind and children with disabilities. Between She and Stephen, I was surrounded by an interest in everything visual, and they appreciated anyone with a slightly different point of view. We became instant friends - at least that's how I remember our beginnings. I'm sure there was that period for Stephen and Frances to become accustomed to being friends with a student (or maybe not), but it wasn't long before we were all hanging out after school, on the weekends, attending origami meetings, making things, and going to movies together. It was the best of times. You see, along with Stephen and Frances' interest in art and learning, they also have a fascination with all things UNUSUAL and HILARIOUS. Talented in humor above perhaps all other things, they were the best at being silly, absurd, ridiculous, and SO MUCH FUN!

Ever since I've known them, they have always been there for me, and they were always there to remind me to laugh. That is a gift I don't know how to repay. Words cannot express all the love and respect I have for them. They are phenomenal human beings, and they are missed terribly since I moved to NYC.

Recently, they did come up for a visit, and it reminded me how much I like having them in my life. I had a wonderful time, and I hope their upcoming move brings them closer to me...otherwise I'm going to have to file for the opposite of a restraining order, where they are REQUIRED BY LAW to stay within 500 feet of me at ALL TIMES.

Below, check out the incredible photos Stephen took while he and Frances provided artistic support during the making of my Atlanta Cow Parade cow:

Check out the figurine!

Does the mural on the wall in this shot look familiar?


gwwf said...

that is the best cow i've seen

Jazzy Justin said...

Thanks gwwf! That compliment means a lot coming from a fellow designer.

user said...

great effin cow!

Ouija said...

Man! I only knew Stephen as our home room teacher : ( Wish I'd known him better- perhaps it's never too late?