Today I write about a time when I was much younger and attending Sellwood Middle School, way back in 1983. If I am doing math correctly, that is 33 years ago. I am writing about an art class I had taken and how much I appreciate the impact art in general has had on my life.
So, in 1983 I am taking an art class and we were told about a project for the school’s centennial celebration and the roll we are are to play in the grander scheme of things. We we will be putting together a calendar made up of pictures that we will first draw free-hand and then ink in using crow-quill nibs. These pictures range from some old time houses from the neighborhood around the school as well as old photos and such that we had of the neighborhood back in the day.
This was great; we got to walk around the neighborhood and draw houses that had elements not used much any more like fish-scale siding. The homes we drew often resembled doll houses I recall. You see them now and again made into a fancy or not-so-fancy coffee house around the neighborhood these days.
We each did several drawings and submitted them for the calendar. I was lucky enough to be chosen for the cover as well as the month of May. It was fantastic! I was elated, although at the time I didn’t know what that word meant. I was on cloud nine. Then, it all came crashing down and when I asked to get my drawing back, I was told I could not have them back. I forget the exact reason why, not that it matters as I didn’t get my pics back. My cloud didn’t have any silver lining, but instead turned into images that mocked my happiness. Stupid clouds!
I hadn’t forgot about the calendar and at some point after I was finished with school and was a young man, I feel I did reach out to Sellwood about the calendar and was told they didn’t have around. It could be that the box Ann had found had been placed somewhere for years and years hidden away from the casual searcher.
Fast forward to the present; I got a wild hair and decided to place an ad on Craigslist about the calendar in the lost/found section. The actual ad is just below in red:
This is going to sound odd, but here goes; I am trying to find a copy of a calendar I helped make while I was attending Sellwood Middle School between the years 80-83. The calendar was made in art class and was comprised of the drawings the students did of some of the old-timey houses around the neighborhood.
Two of my drawings were included in the calendar, one on the cover and one later in the calendar, maybe October.
I know it is a stretch but if anyone knows of where I could get my hands on one of these calendars, that would be the best thing ever. It doesn’t matter if the calendar is marked up, I am really interested in having the drawings back in my possession as the art teacher never gave back the originals.
If anyone knows where I might get my hands on one of these, I would be really grateful.
After having to re-post the ad a few times I get a call from a women that works at Sellwood Middle School and she told me that she ran across a whole mess of them. She threw all but 1 away and that I could have it if I wanted it. Of course I jumped at the chance to get it back and after a few weeks when construction on the school allowed visitors, I met with Ann and picked up my copy of the calendar.
When I spoke with her I mentioned her voice mail to me and that she said I contacted her about the calendar. I said that I had not called or emailed her about this. Someone else had seen my ad on Craigslist and brought this to Ann’s attention.
While I was there, I asked about any year books they may have for the years in question (80-81, 81-82 & 82-83). They said they would look. A very nice woman led me to the library where such things were kept and started rummaging around in cabinets and back rooms.
While she was rummaging, I was looking around at everything. It all looked so much smaller, of course, but with only small superficial changes; computers and such. I was looking around and above the wall opposite the main entrance was a mural of some old-timey buildings I can only imagine used some of the pictured we originally used for some of our pieces that went into the calendar. I recognized several from months in the calendar, not to mention my own on the cover.
To wrap up, I want to thank the person who contacted Ann about my Craigslist ad as well as Ann and the very nice lady (whose name I sadly forget) that eagerly searched everywhere for the yearbooks for me.
Thank you from the bottom of my heart. I was heart broken when I was told I couldn’t have the originals back in ’83 and don’t remember why I was told that but had always felt smaller somehow because I thought I had lost a piece of myself.
I now feel more complete and some of my passion for the arts have re-invigorated my senses and imagination. I hope that each of you reading this can find the joy in something special like I have in art.
Peace be with you!
More to come.