Saturday, August 5, 2017

To Dream About An Artist

I rarely remember my dreams any more. I blame it on short term memory loss. I wake up with the remnants of what I was dreaming about but can't grasp enough to remember it.
Yesterday morning was different - perhaps because the dream was so crazy or maybe because it was about people so far in my past I had hardly thought about them in years.

First the crazy dream: Pete and Anna had come to visit us. I invited them to stay for lunch and was checking the cupboard and fridge to see what I had on hand to prepare - all the while also trying to talk with them. For some reason I came up with chicken noodle soup and sandwiches, but I didn't have enough soup and asked Bud to run to the store and get another can. He came back with the soup which is when I realized I should have had him get some rolls, too. Also, yikes! I didn't have any wine. Pete said that was okay, there was a bottle of wine in the hostess bag they had brought. That was pretty much the dream except that the kitchen was a mess either from me going nuts trying to find something to eat or because I had dirty dishes everywhere.

I met Pete the first winter after Denny and I were married and living on the south side of Des Moines. We decided to take an adult education art class at Lincoln High School; Pete was the instructor. Denny was a teacher in West Des Moines which may have led to the friendships we formed, but what cemented it was when someone in the class complained to the higher ups that they were dissatisfied with Pete as an instructor. We wrote a letter to the adult ed department defending him.
We met his wife, Anna, who later taught at Valley High School with Denny, and their two children. My friendship with them lasted until Denny and I divorced.
In addition to teaching art in the Des Moines Schools for 32 years, Pete also designed several sculptures located around the greater Des Moines area. I remember one of his first installations at Continental Western Insurance in West Des Moines.

The sculpture above is his design at the Park Fleur Condominiums.

Last fall I did see a news segment on TV about his latest sculpture installation in Clive.

It is called Radiance. Sadly, I learned when I googled Pete's name, it may be his last sculpture as he has been diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease.

Maybe that is why I dreamed about them - I needed a reminder to revisit, at least remotely, someone who was once part of my life. The other reason could be because I am reading a book about an artist and Pete is the most successful artist I have known personally.

I watched a 2014 you tube interview with Pete uploaded by the Italian American Cultural Center of Iowa. I not only learned things about him I never knew, I was reminded what an interesting, humble person he is.

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