Archive for July 4th, 2021

GC Myers- The Deacon's New Tie 1995

GC Myers- The Deacon’s New Tie 1995

Another Fourth of July here in America.

No big celebration planned for us today. I am still swamped with work as I try to finish up my next show at the West End Gallery, which I deliver later this week. I’ll be framing and and sanding and varnishing this Independence Day.

No complaints though. It’s just part of my American Dream.

And maybe that’s the idea behind this day, that we should all be entitled to pursue our own American Dream. That whoever we are and wherever we’re from, no matter the color of our skin, our religion or sexual orientation, that we are free to create our own life story with equal rights, equal justice and equal opportunity and reward. 

Free to create as big or small a life as one desires. 

That doesn’t seem like too much to ask, does it?

Unfortunately, that which seems so simple is often the hardest to accomplish. I certainly don’t think we have ever really reached this ideal state. It feels like an impossibility on some days with all the ignorance and hatred so proudly shown by so many these days. But so long as we aspire to that ideal and ward off all attempts to divert us from it, there remains hope.

Here’s my Sunday morning musical selection, July 4th edition. It’s the acoustic version of Pink Houses from John Mellencamp. I’ve always had a soft spot for this song and think he does a great job in portraying that ideal that I spoke of above, that the American Dream comes in all sizes. I particularly like this acoustic version.

The image I chose for today, The Deacon’s New Tie, from way back in 1995. The Deacon was part of my Exiles series and is permanently linked in my mind with this song mainly because several months after painting this piece I came across an article in the paper. It was about a 95 year-old man in central Florida who had won a case where he was trying to be forced from the land on which he had lived for nearly 70 years so that a highway project could proceed.

There was a picture of a bald old black man sitting on his veranda, a slight smile on his lips. There was something slightly familiar in that face, something that caused me take a second look. There it was: he was the spitting image of my deacon. The article went on to say that he was a longtime member of a local church and was known to friends and neighbors as the Deacon. 

The beginning of this song always brings that image of the Deacon sitting on his front porch with the interstate running through his front yard, thinking that he has it pretty good. Living out his American Dream.

Have a good 4th. Hope you’re living your American Dream.

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