Tiny’s Day Book Entry.  Friday, November 15, 1985

It has been seven months since BJ died. I still find it hard to believe. Though I am beginning to accept the reality of the tragedy, the pain of losing him is still almost unbearable. If only I could have helped him more! We all loved him so much.

The gingko tree is in its golden glory today. Each year BJ would watch it from the den window, calling me to “look”- it’s so beautiful, and we both loved it. I bought the tree from cousin Mary Smith many years ago and planted it in front of the big Roberson house. After a period of November brief blaze of color it loses its leaves quickly, dropping them in a gold circle-like carpet almost, within an hour’s time. Like life, one barely has time to appreciate the beauty before it is gone. We are so fragile. I am reminded each day- in many ways- our happiest moments concerned the simple things- like the gingko tree. Together we watched the green turn to gold- to brown- to die. God speaks to us- and sometimes we listen. 



Many years ago, several pieces of my grandmother’s wedding silver were stolen from her home. Afterwards, she hid what remained in drawers, beneath cabinets, in closets.

In the months leading up to my wedding, my parents searched for weeks to complete the set. A few months before my wedding, my mother showed me the set- complete with the help of e-bay. I imagined my grandmother choosing the pattern (Kirk Rose) in 1938 and later, setting tables for supper clubs or holiday meals. I didn’t expect to feel this way about a set of utensils, but this is my most cherished wedding gift.

Maybe it’s the physical resemblance, or the interest in art and poetry, or her knack for storytelling, or that she understood me in a way that most of my family didn’t – I’m not sure. But I always felt deeply connected to my grandmother. She has suffered from Alzheimer’s for more than a decade, now, and she lost the ability to communicate a few years ago. When I visit, I think there is a hint of recognition. She sees something familiar in me -she sometimes feels the outline of my face or stares intently into my eyes. And then, as quickly as she re-entered reality, she leaves it. She looks away and her gaze is empty again. It’s been this way for several years -looking for signs that the woman she used to be is still there. Sometimes it seems that something within the inner recesses of her mind is suddenly awoken, and we think she remembers… But these experiences have become increasingly less frequent over the years.

Occasionally, I’ll thumb through one of her old books and find pressed magnolia leaves- decades old. And I’m reminded of her.

flats.jpg Rent a Mississippi Delta tenant house for $65 a night. These shacks were renovated a few years ago to appeal to Blues tourists in search of an authentic experience. Legend has it that Robert Johnson spent his final hours in one of these “flats.” The concept of renting a dilapidated house is a bit twisted, but I suppose the Delta is a strange place. I guess there is a certain symmetry to that.

Some of you may have heard about Mike Bryant’s illness. He has been critically ill in the ICU since last week. We’ve created a Fundraiser to help Mike and his partner, Randolph, cover medical expenses. Please click here to contribute through PayPal.mike.jpgMike has had a profound impact on all of us during the short time that he’s been involved in the USC art community. He was active in the portfolio class last semester, vice president of the photography club, and my much adored studio assistant. If you don’t know Mike personally, you may be a fan of his photographs posted on the usc photo blog here, here, and here.Please keep Michael and his family in your thoughts.



money road