Window on the Past
Tuesday 29th of March 2011 08:13 AM
By Kim L. Fritzemeier
KFRM Central Kansas Reporter
Farm Wife along the Stafford/Reno County Line
The old joke is that today's newspaper becomes the lining on the bottom of the birdcage. These days, many people don't even get newsprint on their fingers reading the news.
So it was quite a treat to find that a Lindsborg artist studio/museum had a framed copy of one of my Hutchinson News features on the wall.
It was at the Red Barn Studio, which is run by the Raymer Society for the Arts. The museum preserves and promotes the work and memory of Lester Raymer (1907 - 1991), a Lindsborg artist who did paintings, prints, ceramics, metalwork, woodcarving, stitchery and more.
I interviewed Raymer and his wife, Ramona, at the Birger Sandzen Museum in 1982, so I hadn't been to his studio before. I would have been on the job a little more than 16 months when I interviewed Raymer. In typical fashion, I looked at the feature posted on the wall and told Randy I should have done better. That fresh-faced 25-year-old reporter could have learned a thing or two from 53-year-old me.
And I was struck by something else. The museum has preserved this little tableau. It's an artist's palette still stained from years of creativity and work and an unfinished painting of a rooster. It's the scene Raymer left behind on the day he died.
And isn't that what we all hope for? We hope and pray that we'll continue to do the work that we've been called to do until our dying breath. Farmers want to keep planting and harvesting seeds. Teachers find a way to keep teaching, even if they no longer stand in front of a classroom. Mothers still mother though their children have babies of their own. Writers still write, even though their work may no longer be found on yellowed newsprint but is typed and released into cyberspace.
And we all hope the work we do and the lives we touch will still make a difference long after we're gone.