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15 September 2006

Aw - Samantha, who lived with me for three months at the beginning of 2002 because she was in dire straits, sent me an email:

Happy Birthday!!! long time no see or hear again. i have 3 girls now as of march 26. i have to get a picture of them all together. that i know of there is only one family picture out there of us. I mean the whole family with daddy, too. lol he hates to have his picture taken.

She is the sister of two students I'd taught prior to 2002, and I'd met her many times, but not had a lot to do with her. I was at school when she rang me up, asking if she could stay with me and explaining why (the rest of the family had moved to Montana ages before). I said yes and after about 15 minutes a car swung by and barely stopped, flinging Sam and all her earthly goods out into the parking lot before accelerating out.

I'm not very social and having a housemate was excrutiating, however she was sweet and nice. I set a deadline, got her a job, and drove her around endlessly to apartments and rental houses. I had to be steely as she'd sob after calling to try to get a place, and I know the kind of hollowness she was feeling. However, I told her I wouldn't pay any attention to her as I knew that after a week of being independent she'd be very happy. I should add she was about 27 and had been kept in a subordinate role by the Mormon church.

On the last day she still hadn't found a place. I drove her to a place that offered good starter apartments, loaned her money, and got her settled. She quickly grew happy, then after a year or so got married, had babies, etc., etc. Whether that's good or bad is certainly not for me to say. I like her a lot and wish her well in her life.

I should point out that the Mormon church, even after she called them asking for help, did nothing to help her. She called godless me, and I was careful to not say anything against her church. At one point, though, I did say that it might be a good time to examine her faith. She replied that she had, and that pow-wowing is considered a religion by some, and that as an avid pow wower she was going in that direction.

Sam does incredible beadwork, and all the time she was with me worked on a beaded pen in the beads she had, which were in, as she said, "Lifesaver colors." When she left she gave it to me and said, "You are a life saver."

Some of Gerald and Leon's* artwork is still up on the Wa He Lut website. Like this Ditto movie, a pastel, and a monotype.

I always thought Gerald and Leon would become Native American Coen brothers, as they are really good at making movies. I gave them a (digital) video camera way back when so they could make more! more! more! I got Victor Navone (Alien Song) to agree to mentor Gerald from afar but that never went anywhere. Too bad. I talked to Gerald a couple of years ago and he told me he was taking a 3d graphics course at school. I said, "Bryce?" and he said, "I think his name is Mr. Wilson." Ha!

*Apparently Leon isn't in that drop-in-the-bucket on the website. My bad. Leon was somewhat eclipsed by Gerald, at least in his own mind. He has a wonderful and inventive touch with videos, though, and could (at about 10 years old) make entire short dramatic movies with a beginning, middle, and end from virtually nothing as he wasn't allowed to leave the apartment. One, My Mom's Dream, used (with no editing) footage of his mother asleep on the couch, narration, and snippets of re-videoed TV that became enigmatic and dreamlike by being out of context and distorted by the process.

posted by - 10:38 AM

I should have gone right to bed, but your blog was still behind our chat, and I SAW DITTO, which I found enigmatic and cuddly all at once.
Gerald made that with the sound on it, which might not seem hard unless you know what he had to do. The Ditto was maybe half an inch tall. What an amazing boy.

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