What do you say when your dear friend comes to you and tells you she’s been diagnosed with stage 4 cancer? What can you say? I didn’t know either. My dear friend Kelly Watson, told me of her diagnosis just before Christmas 2019.
I didn’t know what to do, and at first, was paralyzed. I knew I had to do something though. Kelly is the mother to 11 children, 7 of whom are young adopted foster children, all with special needs, and living at home. I created a GFM campaign for her, thought about hosting an auction, selling some of my art, but none of that would cover even a fraction of the insurmountable medical bills that were accumulating.
I had an idea. I contacted a well-known street artist (David Zinn) who I’d just recently met and asked him if he could help me with a fundraiser, knowing full well that HIS art would sell! Thankfully, he loved my idea and jumped on board.
The fight for “Team Kelly” began and what happened next was nothing short of magical. After bringing home a huge stack of Zinn Art, my father, a 92-year-old WWII veteran and retired music educator happened to see an image of “Sluggo”. A little green stalk-eyed, curious and somewhat mischievous little monster, from the mind of Mr. Zinn. He looked at it, studied it for a minute and said: “I’ll bet I can draw like ‘That Guy'”. Not thinking much of it except excitement that he was, once again, showing interest in something artistic, I set off to buy some paper and crayons. I asked Mr. Zinn if he minded if I showed my father’s drawing of Sluggo on social media and he cheerfully said “The way I see it, the more Sluggo’s, the better.”
(I should mention that my father has a bit of a following among my social media friends who have been enjoying stories and posts of trips I’ve taken him on. Most recently “soaring Valor” with the Gary Sinese foundation, and then, “Honor Flight”.)
Pops drew a few more pictures and I posted them on social media, just for fun, for sale. They sold almost as fast as I could post them! He drew more, and sold more, I asked him what he was going to do with all his money and he said: “Give it to Kelly, she needs it”. He’s quickly developing his own “Cubism folk art” like the style. He’s once again showing interest in something, he’s happy and actually looks forward to drawing and is thrilled to be able to help if even just a little. As he says “If everyone helps a little, it would really help a lot”.
He’s able to draw 3 or 4 a night and continues to donate his profits to Kelly and her family. Every time I tell him he sold yet another one, there’s a genuine tone of surprise in his voice and laughter, and that, my friends, is priceless.
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The Debut of Raymond Harary’s Sluggo!
The little sluggo compared to David Zinn’s art
My Father, Raymond Harary, hard at work, drawing his first “sluggo”
A self portrait “big nosed sun man” the resemblance is uncanny!
“Mrs. Flower Hair”
Hard at work in his living room Studio!
His First “commissioned” drawing of “Happy”
“Happy Heart Flowers”
Kelly and Danial Watson and 10 of their adopted foster children
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