A Palimpsest of Sorts

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A Palimpsest of Sorts

Sunday night I found a framed pastel portrait I had been looking for for several months. My brother John did it in high school, from a photo in National Geographic, if I remember correctly.

Cleaning the glass, I noticed something behind the pastel. I took off the back panel and found a painting, a watercolor, stapled to the panel.

I assume it too is by John.

If that’s the case, then nearly fifty years ago John was painting a barbed-wire fence. And now, fifty years later, I’m co-authoring a book about barbed wire.

It feels like a gift from beyond the grave.

About Scott Abbott

Ph.D. in German Literature from Princeton University, 1979. Then I taught at Vanderbilt University, BYU, and Utah Valley State College. At Utah Valley University, I'm Director of the Program in Integrated Studies and former Chair of the Department of Humanities and Philosophy. My publications include a book on Freemasonry and the German Novel, two co-authored books with Zarko Radakovic (published in Serbo-Croatian in Belgrade), and translations of a book by Austrian author Peter Handke and of a catalogue of an exhibit called "The German Army and Genocide." More famously, my children are in the process of creating good lives for themselves: as a model and manager, as a teacher of Chinese language, as a watershed scientist and science writer, as a jazz musician, as a corrections officer, as university students, and as parents. I share my life with UVU historian Lyn Bennett and our yellow dog Blue. Some publications at http://works.bepress.com/scott_abbott/
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2 Responses to A Palimpsest of Sorts

  1. mikerol says:

    That is an interesting water color which says why the hell is that fence there staking out a claim in paradise!

    Like

    • Scott Abbott says:

      the vicious wire has become a part of the landscape over time. there’s almost no place in the west you can go and not find barbed-wire fences. and for a 17-year old boy who has grown up with a sense that it’s not out of place, it makes a pretty way to demonstrate perspective.

      Like

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