Category: �’

Fuschia

April 15, 2008 Posted by suefairview

This is the very first water color painting that I ever did, while the rest of my high school class was painting apples. I can still see my teacher looking at it with his hand on his beard and saying “Sue, you’ve outdone yourself. But the task was to use the water color as a wash not as you have. So you will have to do another painting.” So I painted lilacs.

What this technique is called is dry brush because the colors are applied and then the next is applied after the first dries. I love this technique because it appeals to the obsessive side of me. The wash is nice too, but far more unpredictable.

While others needed a model to go by, this came straight from my head and is titled Fuschia.

Click to enlarge

Art Work – Deer, 1974

April 1, 2008 Posted by suefairview

This was the first piece that I ever did in high school art. I just went overboard as far as obsessiveness on it, but I had lots of fun doing it. It was achieved by using a special paper that was made to be painted with an India ink wash and then the ink scratched away, leaving a drawing. I think my art teacher’s only comment was that the picture looked a bit flat. Quite a thing to remember given that it was said more than 35 years ago. But he was right.

Click to enlarge

I loved that we had art class in high school and I think that all schools should. We were exposed to many media, like clay that was fired in ovens, crea stone (that was poured into square casts then carved), linoleum cuts, plaster casting from clay, wax statues, water colors, oil paints and more. We were taught to draw from life and ours was a good teacher.

My Mom has two of my sculptures, a clay one of a monk praying and a carved crea stone one of a musk ox. I have a water color too of lilacs. This is one of the few drawings I have from that time, and I will always treasure it.

Freshman Year – Part 6, Hard Life Lesson

March 7, 2007 Posted by suefairview

The other thing that puzzled me is that there was no more affection from Troy. That one kiss was all there was. But, I still really liked hanging out with him and his friends, Colleen and Timothy. We were a little band of friends that went everywhere together. I found Troy intellectually interesting too. We would discuss politics and he had this uncanny ability to predict current political events. His wisdom was unfathomable. He was a junior and a political science major, but that did not explain all of it. He used to just wink at me after making a very inscrutable prediction. It used to drive me nuts. How could he have known what he did?

So this went on for some time. One day, when Troy and I were at lunch I was pressuring him for an explanation and he said, “You know Sue. I have told you that I was a Government Student like the EO kids. But that was not entirely true. I am not exactly like the EO kids. I am in a special program. I have been selected for a fast track preparation and so have access to some inside government information. That is how I know what is going on in the news.”

“Oh. I was wondering about that. Why were you selected?”

“Intelligence and superior skills.” He said without modesty.

“Fast track to what?”

“That is yet to be determined based on what I can achieve.”

“Why is all of this a secret?”

“Because I had to get clearance to obtain the information I have access to and so we don’t want it to be common knowledge that I have it.”

“Oh. Well I won’t tell anybody. Does Colleen know?”

“Yes, both she and Timothy do.”

“Oh, I see. So you told everybody first, just not me!” I said trying my best to sound angry.

He laughed it off.

I don’t’ remember precisely how it started, but one day, Troy mentioned that there were tensions between the People’s Republic of China and the United States of America that might lead to nuclear war. I didn’t know what to think. I had trusted everything that Troy had said up until then, so why not believe him now? Why did it have to be nuclear war? That was my one worst nightmare. Immediately I began to have the mushroom cloud dreams again along with the muscle cramps in my legs. I couldn’t sleep and my grades fell off. I was getting stomach cramps. Whether I believed him or not, it was effecting me physically. I took an incomplete in jazz dance and dropped out of that class. I went to the infirmary and told them my symptoms. When they asked what I was worried about, I told them it was finals. Thank god they believed me. I was diagnosed as starting an ulcer and given valium in 5 milligram tablets and told to see the campus shrink.

On my way back to my dorm from the infirmary, a tall black man stopped me and said, “Hey, I hear you have something to sell.”

“I do?”

“Yeah. You do. I’ll give $5 per pill.”

“Uh, no thanks.”

“Maybe some other time then.”

He just walked away. Thank goodness. Now that is what I call communication.

When I got back to my dorm the gals across the hall were playing Time in a Bottle by Jim Croce. There never seems to be enough time. Timely indeed.

Later that week, Troy told me that nuclear war was imminent and we should wait for the call to evacuate to Florida with him by military helicopter. I was petrified. I don’t know how I held it together through my finals, seeing the campus shrink and finally boarding the bus to go home.

But I decided to tell my friend Toby everything and cry on that muscular gymnast shoulder of his. Toby held me tight as I cried and it felt so good. He told me that he would be there for me, but that Troy was crazy as a loon and why did I believe all of his crap? I wanted so badly to believe Toby, but my mind was looking for an adult that I trusted to tell me that Troy was crazy, not a student. Nuclear war was my particular Achilles heel. Toby told me that it was all too weird for him and that once I was through this crisis, he didn’t think he could be my friend anymore. I told him that I understood and respected his decision.

After finals, I took a valium on the bus, closed my eyes and next thing I knew I was home.

Once I got home, I told my mom about Troy and she just freaked out.

“Susie were you doing drugs? Did he rape you? He could have taken you to Florida and cut you!” On and on and on… She was out of control. So she called my dad to come over and sort things out.

So, my far more reasonable dad came over. Together they helped me come to my senses. Troy was paranoid schizophrenic with delusions. He was not a government student. He did not have inside government information. He was incredibly intelligent and that was how he is able to manipulate unsuspecting students. I really just needed someone to tell me that he was a crazy person and they did it for me. I’m not sure they ever believed that drugs were not involved or that we never had sex. Now, I’m kind of thinking that Troy was gay.

So the question became how to dump him? Mom said that I should just write him a letter. So I set about doing that. It was difficult because it had to explain why I would choose to stay in NY and die in a nuclear war rather than go with him to safety. Plus, I had to promise to keep his secret. Somehow I covered all of those bases and mailed the letter. Then I felt compelled to call Colleen and see if she had figured out that all of this was bull. Mom was hesitant, but let me.

So I called Colleen and she was really hesitant on the phone, but eventually it became clear that she had also made the same conclusion that I had. Then she told me that Timothy had too and he was going to call me. She was taking the next semester off to regroup. Timothy was going to transfer to another school.

Sure enough, Timothy’s call came later that day. He wanted to meet me at his house. My mom drove me there. He was waiting for me out on his driveway and I got out of the car to talk to him. He said some words, I don’t remember what, and then he hugged me and kissed me. I sure didn’t see that coming. Mom said that she did though. I never looked at him in a sexual way. Mom thought he was cute. Ew.

Mom and Dad made me promise to go a shrink that Dad knew that dealt with people like Troy all the time or they would make me transfer to the local community college and live at home (horror of horrors!!!). So I went. It was terrible. The shrink was way more interested in talking about Troy than me and was insulting. He told me that he felt that I was probably smart enough to be a scientist. Probably smart enough? How insulting! Anyway, I went and Mom and Dad agreed to send me back to school after the Christmas break.

Mom contacted the Dean of Students to report the problem with Troy. Apparently, Troy had received letters from Colleen, Timothy and me and freaked out and was found wandering aimlessly around campus not knowing his own name or where his dorm was. He was sent to a mental hospital near his home in New York City. That was the last I ever heard from him, though I worried continuously for years that he would find me and pop back into my life.

Mom decided that I needed to see what normal campus life was like. So she planned a trip for me to visit my sister Evie at Notre Dame University since her school started up before mine…

Freshman Year – Part 5, Jazz Dance

March 1, 2007 Posted by suefairview

After Troy left, I turned on the lights. Janice came through the door crying and sobbing. Somehow she managed to sputter that her boyfriend that was captain of the Lacrosse team had dumped her. She came into my arms and I consoled her.

She said, “I’ll never meet someone that nice again!” More shaking sobs followed that statement.

I thought about how he slept with her and then cast her aside like garbage and how very mean that was and said, “I am sure you will Janice. You will meet lots of guys much nicer than him.”

She looked up at me with those blue eyes filled with hope and curled lashes and said, “You think so, really?”

“Yes.” I answered definitively. “I know so.” After some time she calmed down and went to sleep.

My Jazz Dance class began midway through the semester. I had no idea what to wear, so I came to it in shorts and my red canvas sneakers. I was a bit flummoxed to see the rest of the class in leotards and dance slippers. Egad, I thought, I am a bit out of place. But the course description said nothing about ballet, so, maybe not. Then the class started and the full first hour was a ballet warm up, half hour on the floor and half hour on the bar. I felt a bit like daffy duck in my sneakers; the total klutz in the brood of graceful swans. Plus, there was some overlap with ice skating and the muscles for ballet and ice skating are opposed and that meant my muscles hurt like a son of a bitch. But, I could go up on point in my canvas sneakers!

The second hour of the class was the jazz part. Here I learned the famous ‘jazz hands’. Always useful! But seriously folks, I learned to dance and lost some of my white man’s disease. The hustle was in at that time and we learned the basics of that which came in handy right away. Finally I had some moves and could feel comfortable on the dance floor.

There was another dance on campus and this time and I was prepared. Troy showed up with a towel hanging from his left jeans pocket. It looked really cool that way. We danced the hustle together and he was impressed with my new moves. He put a new twist on it by moving in so that our legs were entwined at the knee. Then he moved closer so that his leg was in-between mine and mine in between his. It was like we were humping each other’s legs. This was the closest I had been to him since we had kissed.

He had been kind of distant and I figured that he just didn’t want Colleen to be jealous. Around we went to the music, and then we broke apart, still dancing. Then he faced Colleen and she danced with him. Similar to the way I did, but she had that great hip grinding motion that I could never get due to my white man’s disease. Timothy watched. Troy wiped his face with the towel from his pants pocket when we finished dancing. Then we all bundled up to go back out into the cold and snow.

Colleen knew two of the EO students because they were from Sullivan County. One of them was tall, Dwayne, and one of them was shorter, Eddie, but really handsome and his skin was very light for an African American. His hair was loose and curly and his eyes were almost bluish-hazel. He was very pretty. Supposedly his high school sweetheart was a blond dish that did not go to college. They used to run track together and were inseparable. Talk was that they were engaged. We used to hang with them and Troy sometimes.

That was how I got involved with the only theft I have ever committed in my entire life. Everyone was drunk, except for me, and we were wandering around Cayuga up to no good. Troy was fixated on lawn balls. You know those big mirrored balls that folks put out as decoration on their lawns? I personally think they are ugly, but different strokes, you know. So, he took one and off we all ran. He put it in his room. I felt so guilty over that damn thing every time I saw it in his room.

But, other kids were stealing stuff from all over town. Kids in my dorm had stolen flashing yellow traffic warning lights and were trying to figure out how to get them to stop flashing without breaking them. Other kids stole stop signs, street signs, you name it, and kids stole it. I just couldn’t understand it. Who raised these kids?

Freshman Year – Part 4, Troy

February 21, 2007 Posted by fairviewsue

Cayuga used to hire small name local bands to come to campus and give concerts. These were considered really big events by students and well attended. One of these was during a time I was really looking for a boyfriend (when wasn’t I?). I had no party clothes to speak of, just my everyday jeans and shirt. So that was what I put on for the concert. I didn’t feel special at all or that I would stand out in any way. I didn’t own any make up; so I wore none. Heck, I didn’t even have curly lashes like Janice. I did not own a blow drier for my shoulder length hair. What chance did I have to meet anybody? So, there I stood bathed in the deafening “music”, scanning the crowd for “men”. They were really far and few between at Cayuga. As I was standing there, someone came up behind me and asked me to dance. I turned and it was this really cute black guy. So I said, “Sure.”

I had not noticed him before on campus. But he was around five foot eight, with an afro and very attractive. He really knew how to dance. We were doing the bump and I was just trying to keep up with him, as my dancing skills are not that great (can you say major white man’s disease?). He must have noticed because we only danced one and then he turned to his other two friends, a girl and a boy, standing there waiting and motioned the girl to join him in the dance. Man, she could move for a white girl.


She had short black hair, but was plain and stocky. The young man had curly dirty blond hair and blue eyes and was okay looking. He was tall, but his face looked kind of boyish for my tastes. We all went down stairs together in the student union for refreshments and introduced ourselves.

The young black man said, “Hi. My name is Troy. These are my friends Colleen and Timothy.”

I replied, “Hi. I am Sue.” We got to talking and it turned out that Colleen was from Sullivan County in the Catskills and Timothy was from Long Island. Troy was from Spanish Harlem, born of Puerto Rican and African American parents. Just like that I had found a small click of friends to be with. Troy was magnetic and very bright and handsome and I hoped to date him. Certainly, Colleen was no threat to me there. Besides, Colleen just seemed to have a heart of gold. I really like that in a friend. She couldn’t possibly think that Troy was going to date her. He did seem to be focusing in on me.

At one point during our chit chats it came up that he was a government sponsored student. I said, “Oh, you mean like the Equal Opportunity Students here at Cayuga?”, and he indicated that yes, that was indeed the case. There were a whole bunch of EO students on campus. As a matter of fact, there was an entire floor of one of the dorms devoted to EO students.

Late one night, Troy walked me back to my dorm room. When we got there we were alone. He stepped in ahead of me and neither of us turned on the lights. He put his hands on my shoulders and drew me closer to him. Our mouths met and he kissed me. His tongue came out and rubbed quickly back and forth over my lips, but when I opened my mouth, he withdrew and smiled. Then he turned and left without a word. I was totally confused. He was my boyfriend, just really prudish? I just didn’t know what to think. But in general I was pleased, because he was really hot and he was mine.