Death of Lee. 5.24.14


Scrap art | 12X16″ | Gift for Roy Bahls

Roy is one of my best friends at the newspaper. We’ve known each other for 30 years.

He’s an avid relic hunter who knows a lot about local history, leading back to the colonial era and he finds many treasures – Spanish silver coins, buttons, Civil War insignia and other relics.

One day about five years ago, as I was becoming more fervently devoted to this scrap art I produce, I asked him what he did with the stuff he dug up that had little or no value and he replied, “I call those things ‘leaverites’ because I leave them right where I find them!” I asked if he wouldn’t mind schlepping that stuff back to me because I’d love to make use of it in my artwork. Roy generously agreed, and he’s been bringing me wonderful art supplies ever since. Roy understood from the moment I asked him — his imagination is in line with mine — and when he drops off a dusty ZipLock bag full of dirt-caked metal, he’ll say, “I think you’ll find a hat, a shoe, and maybe a duck in there.”

I gave this piece, made with many of Roy’s donated relics, to him yesterday at his farewell ceremony at The Virginian-Pilot. He, along with many other exemplary employees have taken the hit for our lousy economy.

Thanks, Roy, for everything.

This piece includes: a pocket watch plate, horse comb, spoon, tack, key fragment, leather shoe upper, baking sheet (donated by Lynn, my wife) and other unknown decorative metal gems plucked from eternity by my fellow “finder,” Roy.