Tag Archives: paraplegic

Staying top of mind

During the past few days, I have been working through the list of numbers that Dad had conveniently pasted to a piece of recycled picture mounting board.   All except one call, have solicited receptive responses.

On that occasion, I definitely experienced a phone call with someone who is experiencing decline in their mental acuity.  It was a Monty Pythonesque type of conversation where in the end, you wish nothing but to politely repeatedly hit yourself in the head for going where no sane person would tread. Please accept my apologies for my lapse in compassion.

All the other responses have been positive.

Reg has been described as a true scholar, a gentleman, an artist and a poet.

People have shared their memories of my parents kindness, my father’s intelligence, his artistic ability and his willingness to teach others the skill of watercolour painting.

No-one has said that they don’t have any of his works. Quite the opposite in fact. They have told me, how many and of what.

Dad would say, ‘What is the point of art, if it is not shared?’

He used to sell his work at a price point that he believed that all could afford. This did not always sit well with my mother, who counted on income to purchase large items, such as a new sofa.  She would frown and mumble under her breath, ‘Oh Reg you are no businessman, there goes the new sofa!’.

He once had a commission for a work of art from a man that had been involved in an accident, leaving him a paraplegic. It was a large commission in oils. A rural scene and was about 2 metres in length and a 1.5 metres in width. He came weekly over a period of months,  to see it evolve. Dad would lay down wide rails so he could wheel himself into the studio.
Mum would provide a range of baked goods that were frankly, ‘top notch’. In the end, after several months, Dad decided not to sell it to the man, but simply gave it to him. Mum was furious.

His reasoning was that the conversation and companionship that he experienced were of greater value than his work.  I’d argue that today, this work would be worth a small fortune.

I will add ‘charming’ to the list of descriptors, for he was certianly that.  Not in the awkward greasy tabloid inappropriate way.

No, he was 100% old school . A gentleman that could delight you with a fathomless depth of general knowledge.

He quite liked to re-tell stories of ‘human folly’.  He laughed openly, but not in a malicious way.

He liked to ‘hold court’, and in fact he was rather skilled at it. He did this until recently with the journalists from the Launceston Examiner newspaper at the 125th anniversary of the Launceston Art Society. He was a master at strategic positioning.

I have no doubt that I garnered some of my skills by observation.