Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Memories of Seattle's Home of the Good Shepherd

Some years ago -- probably in the early 1970s, I visited Seattle, undoubtedly in the company of Robert Minichiello who lived there, and I stayed in the Home of the Good Shepherd.  The nuns who ran a home there for delinquent girls had moved into the world, and the Home was to become an arts center, but still stood empty except for Linda Beaumont who lived on the empty top  floor.  She loved having a space where she could dance while painting.  (In 2012, Linda's public art works are all over the Seattle area: Linda Beaumont )   Chuck Greening was also there working on a project, and so I was witnessing a miraculous conversion -- a religious institution turning into an art center.  Still, as an ex-Catholic, I was excited to spend the night in a nun's bed, properly spare, white covers on a white iron bed, where I pretended I was virginal and "pure," imagining the nun who had slept in the bed before me, but there was an anti-climax the next day when I met the nun at a gathering.  She was laughing like any normal person, and drinking a cocktail.  
I have felt impelled to write this entry on my blog in particular  because of "the lost mural of Linda Beaumont," a loss that seems to concern me more than her.   There had been a drained pool at the Home, and Linda created a mosaic face there, and the pool was  filled again with water.  I don't know if I took this photo, or someone else gave it to me, but I learned later that the pool was considered a danger and was filled with earth.  Will it be found one day, a mysterious artwork from an ancient time?  Who the artist?

Perhaps someone will remember all the details I am forgetting, such as whether it was during this time that an old ironworks in Seattle became a little park called The Ironworks.  For a very symetrical hill there (in the photo below), Chuck Greening was creating a sundial where the needle that cast the shadow that told the time would be any person who happened to stand at the center of his large sun dial.  

It was fun to sit in the chapel of the Home of the Good Shepherd and listen to Chuck and two others discuss his plan, in particular the problem of drainage off that hill.  I think Steve Badanes may have been one of the friends helping him (Steve of Jersey Devils, the architects, Jersey Devil design/build, and some years later, Linda's husband). 


Perhaps this is Steve Gadanes, with this thick black head of hair, in the upper right, helping Chuck Greening, lower right, as they begin to set the sundial in place.


From a later time, a landmark loved by Seattle folk, Steve Badanes' Ogre Under the Freeway....

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