Friends on the Web

Lance Lough  I stumbled on Lance's work when about a dozen pieces of it were hanging on the walls of a Chinese restaurant in Auburn California.  It was a hot, dusty August afternoon and there was a town wide arts festival going on. I found someone who knew who the artist was and wrote down his phone number on one of the restaurant's business cards.  By the time I got back home, I had of course misplaced the card.  I made an attempt to find the phone number of the restaurant and track Lance down because I was very interested in buying one of the paintings, a haunting image called "V.", but without results.  Months later, as I opened a copy of the collected works of Hart Crane I had brought back from California, the lost card fluttered out of the pages of "To Brooklyn Bridge."  "V." now hangs in my living room.  I've come to know Lance over the internet as not merely a brilliant artist but an amazingly articulate person as well.  Eventually, I visited Lance twice at his home in the Northern Diggins, once when he lived in Newcastle (on the property of the historic Southern Pacific Railroad) and once after he moved to Grass Valley. 

This is what I looked like in 1973, give or take a year. To my left is my old friend Dave Cheney. At our feet, my beloved dog Fricka, who was said to be "almost human." Everyone was thin in those days. The light-toned structure above us is (I think) the one-room cabin in which I lived at about that time. Dave lived in a truck (!) parked just off the right edge of the picture (though, again, I'm not entirely sure of the location). 

Dave died suddenly an completely unexpectedly of a heart attack in the summer of 2005.  He had just retired from working for El Dorado County and was happily making plans for his leisure years with his wife Linda and son Noah.  It was a shocking loss, from which many of us are still reeling.  I notice that he revised his web site just days before he died, obviously not suspecting a thing.  Carpe diem, my friends, carpe diem! 

Our buddy Treebeard lived in the tack room of the horse stables nearby. Location: the Santa Inez Mountains, CA. Photo by Linda Cheney.  Treebeard doesn't seem to be updating his wonderful "Stumpers" page any more, but he does add to his Fotolog frequently.  Lately, it seems he's been expressing himself very visually.