The past thirty years of traveling to Memphis for Elvis Week, I have made some wonderful friends that I cherish dearly. In 1981 the first fans I met were Marie D’Arc ( 1948-2011) and her New Jersey friends which forged a lasting and wonderful friendship.
Marie was a very talented artist and teacher. During one of our Memphis trips, we were driving around the city and she looked up and commented on the beauty of the sky. From her artistist perspective, she commented to me on the reds, blues and ultramarines that lit up the evening sky. When I glanced up to the sky, I also saw its beauty, but my first thoughts were the shades of gray that are produced with the pencils of “H”, “F”, HB” and “3H” – we just laughed – two artists and their interpretation of the world around them.
When my second book of Elvis art was published, The Magic of Elvis, I wanted to incorporate some of my poetry with a select few of the drawings. I enlisted Marie to create the calligraphy for these pieces. At first, she was hesitant because she did not want to write on the artwork, but that was what I wanted her to do which she did beautifully. As we progressed, I received another phone call from Marie, she was upset because she was doing the calligraphy and had become emotional about the piece. She started to cry and her tears fell on the artwork. I told her not to worry, it would only add something special to the piece.
I have felt a profound loss with the passing of a good friend and talented artist. The memories of the fun we had is very comforting. Yearly trips to Memphis, family trips to Washington & New Jersey and having her in our home…are just, “memories pressed between the pages of my mind, memories sweetened through the ages just like wine……”
Here I share with you some of those memories.