Friday, November 25, 2011

Across the River



This morning I stopped by the old age home in town and asked if I could meet someone who has no family around and never gets visitors.

They introduced me to Lester. He told me about Kingston across the river, where he spent his whole life. He remembered the milkman delivering glass bottles, the soda shops, the piano factory, and the brickyards. The way he described it, he seemed to think Kingston still has all that.

"Have you ever been to Maine?" I asked. "No," he said. "Someone gave me the hat."

Before I could finish the portrait, a nurse took him away for his medication. He had sensors on both of his shoes to keep him from wandering off in search of Kingston. "He used to have a sensor on just one shoe," an orderly told me. "But then he'd kick off that shoe and escape with one bare foot."

17 comments:

Poet Whale said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Poet Whale said...

Thank you for sharing you story with Lester. I hope you have the chance to visit him again.

I removed my last post because Blogspot posted the word verification word, that phonetically didn't sound quite right.

Vicki Holdwick said...

Such a nice portrait and a great story to go with it.

Thanks,

xoxo

Mary Bullock said...

God Bless you for visiting Lester.

Patricia said...

What a wonderful idea! hope it inspires other to do the same. Thank you for sharing Lester's story and portrait!

Guy Parkhomenko said...

Beautiful portrait and story.

MrCachet said...

Oh yes - art with a story.

JonInFrance said...

Thanks Jim

Beck said...

Jim, you are a rockstar!!! Your post totally choked me up. I'm showing my kids who will be going thru Dinotopia at school this January.

Herman G said...

Awesome post

Gerald Seiberling said...

Amazing idea! Im sure your thoughtful visit made all the difference to Lester. Thank you for sharing your story and your art.

Bruce said...

Great post!

Carol said...

What a wonderful story. God bless you for doing that visit.

Tom Hart said...

James -

Let me echo the appreciation of the others who have been so touched by the generosity of time and spirit displayed in your visit to the home to make this sketch. As one who's had family members in such facilities, I'm deeply impressed.

Thanks so much for that act of kindness, and for sharing your wealth of experience with us daily. We readers of Gurney Journey have much to be thankful for. Your superhuman willingness to bring us along on your "journey" is amazing, and your success could not be more deserved.

Albert. S said...

James, I think your a fantastic guy with excellent flavors in your character. That was really thoughtful of you to do that. You probably made Lester's day, by just talking him and about the past. They love to talk about how it was then and how simple life was. My wife works for a 93yr old elderly woman. Still very coherent, and just goes on about the depression and so forth. I think it's fantastic. This article made my day. Keep pouring forth. Thanks.

James Gurney said...

You guys are all very generous with compliments, but really I just parachuted in for a half hour, and then rolled along. The people who really deserve the applause are the folks who work at such places day in and day out doing the non-glamorous work of helping people in their last years of life.

meera said...

Very Touching! - post and the portrait. Thanks for sharing.