The Daily Register - Harrisburg, IL
The Question Remains
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By Gary DeNeal
Gary DeNeal is the editor and publisher since 1985 of Springhouse, a bi-monthly magazine focusing on the history and lore of southeastern Illinois.
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By Gary DeNeal
March 8, 2013 12:01 a.m.

He was either an artist or someone who wasted time. A few held with the first possibility, while most people he knew clung to the second. The sad part of it was, he had an inkling the second faction might be right. Sadder still, he knew himself to be so driven, so self-contained, in the end it made little difference what any of them thought.
Of course it was possible his unusual diversion was not so very odd after all, considering.
From the impressionistic blur of the growing up years he recalled a distant relative on his grandmother’s side, an elderly lady who set large, rounded stones in a special machine filled with oil paints of varying colors. (Somehow these colors were able to swirl without blending into a single shade the color of mud.) The button she pushed caused a whirring sound, and, lo and behold, seconds later there were stones to be seen unlike any other on the planet. They had a marbled look, such as is found on the endpapers of certain old books.
Looking on, perhaps all of seven or eight, he had no idea the old lady’s abstract art was anything out of the ordinary, but now, more than sixty years later, he realized that in various personal interactions with people over the years he had yet to meet anyone else who did such a thing.
Doing his own art, or whatever it was, he remembered the machine, remembered the relative on his grandmother’s side who caused to be colored rounded stones when she could have been darning socks, something her friends and neighbors would have understood.
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Herod, IL 62947

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