ALICE IN THE GARDEN
We almost always wait to turn on our digital devices until after we’ve spoken our day’s intentions, shared the ringing of our prayer bowl, fed our furry feathered ones and visited over coffee and breakfast.
When the phone rings unusually early on a recent morning, I sense I should make an exception to our “delayed digitals” practice. I answer the call.
Julie texts images to us. Pondering the damage, we’re sad seeing the deep scratches marked into the rich patina of Alice’s sweet bronze face, neck and arm. We’re sad she’s been harmed—sad someone hasn’t known to value and respect this beautiful community treasure given by the Boylan Foundation to enrich the cultural life of Carthage.
Five years ago, when I first move to Carthage, I take long rambling walks to find the charms in my new hometown. Alice in the garden and our copper-crowned library are two of my first found loves. When I make my Landmarks of Carthage painting series, Alice and the library are included among our hometown treasures that touch our hearts and tell our history.
History is important to folks around here—native Carthaginians and transplants like David and myself. Among the contributors to our valuable history are our local artists.
The creator of Alice, Bill Snow, is the remarkably gifted shoe-repairman-turned-sculptor. At 74, he passed from among us just this last November, leaving us Alice and many other fine works. Bill will forever remain one of the great among our Carthage art makers.
As David and I stand before Alice with her marks, we remember Bill and consider other local artists—possible resources to help restore Alice’s original beauty. We’ve just spent a lovely evening with our talented local legend, Larry Glaze. He quickly comes to mind.
When David reaches out to Larry he promises to help and does. Assessing the deep cuts in Alice’s patina created by time and weather, Larry explains the only proper and long-lasting repair can be accomplished by sending Alice back to the foundry of her origin. Though the costs involved prohibit this solution, there is hope in Larry’s hands. With tender touch and the assistance of library director, Julie Yockey, Larry works his artist magic and treats Alice’s scratches with the skills of a gifted healer.
Today, Alice still stands in her garden. Her hurt is barely visible. She is still lovely. She is greatly loved.