Tuesday, March 17, 2009

GeeGee’s Paintings – Part #3 …


    ‘Bermuda Insert’by GeeGee – Mid 1970’s

Oldest son, Francis Michael had many friends in High School and one in particular had just returned with his family from a vacation in Bermuda … I had no reservations in peering over the boys’ shoulders as pictures, from a bulging envelope, were passed between them.

Then, one came up that filled my eyes, “Wait, wait, can I see that one?” The boat was the most attractive and appealing vessel (other than any fishing boats docked at a Portland, Maine wharf) that I’d ever seen … “What is it called?”

“I don’t know.  My parents bought from a Bermudian street artist that makes a living selling his paintings to tourists.”

Would your mother consider loaning me this picture so I can do a painting of it?”

I telephoned her and she was pleased to loan me the actual painting! I was beside myself with excitement and anticipation and barely could wait until my husband got home from work to drive me to her home.

Weeks later, I returned her painting and showed her my finished work that she liked better than the original because the colors in the boat were more vibrant.

That sweet, trusting woman will never be forgotten - “Thank you, dear lady, thank you”.


     ‘Perish The Thought’ by GeeGee – 1979

At the time I painted this dear-to-my-heart couple, I was a V.I.S.T.A. (Volunteers in Service to America) involved with the poor of Portland, Maine and in other areas of the State. I helped organize the poor for welfare and housing rights, for day-care, for training in pursuit of better jobs and legal representation in the affairs of politics and business as it effected the poor and low-scale blue collar workers. Human and Civil Rights were our prime concern … The poor and the Blacks, our focus but mostly the poor as they had little to no voice whereas the Blacks had NAACP and we’d be in partnership with them and morally supported by the Jewish Community, one of many that began to recognize and respect our efforts. A new dawn was breaking just over the gray horizon and voices, once prejudiciously muted, were raised in concert and their numbers grew and the bodies of these freed sounds marched with posters to the beat of drums and there was singing and unity for rights that had long been manipulated in a language dipped in maple-syrupy falsehoods.

“God Almighty, we will be free someday – all of us that have been held back by color and poverty would forever hold our heads high on stronger necks from firmer shoulders built-up with our struggles.”

At an New England Conference in Boston where representatives from low-income and blue-collar groups, NAACP, agencies, state offices and committees, city departments, churches, Lettuce pickers, inner-city Federal housing tenants, and so many more that I fail to recall, I ended my prepared speech with a poem I had written for the occasion called:

Perish The Thought ...

Perish the thought
That I should want
Human rights and well-being
Tied into a knot,
Perish the thought!

Done and undone
What is and is not
I remember their games
Their names, I forgot ...

If truth be impotent
Untie me please
And perish the thought ...



  1. As I have wated and not in vain. A really good history!
    Thank God that there are people like You who fihts for people that can´t fight for them selves!For those who haven´t gotten the strength.
    Love the second picture!

  2. Ohhhhh Alice....you are back...(sigh)...It just was not the same without you my friend.:) Once again, I am ashamed to admit, I learned the details of two paintings, I see every time I enter your home, and never knew a thing about! Why didn't I know? Did I ask and just forget? I don't know...but now I do and I love the stories of all of them. The second one has always caught my eye. I love your paintings and your writing and most importantly....YOU!:)

  3. And I love you too and your paintings and pretty words and your spirit and courage in your ongoing efforts on behalf of the downtrodden peoples of the world even today as you cry out for justice and better treatment for them in your blog.

  4. How great to have you back and with a blog that shall I’m sure open the eyes of anyone lucky enough to read it. And to get to know you as the great artist that you are. Your paintings are not only wonderful they are meaningful. To look at them can not help but make a person stop and think how deeply you’re feelings go. You efforts to help and protect the rights of the under privileged make me feel a certain since of pride in just knowing you as little as I do. Your concern for all humanity makes you a martyr in my eyes. What would people do with out people like you? I want to personally thank you, for I know what it is like to feel shunned and made fun of, not only as a child but right up in to my adult hood. Being short, being French, being dyslectic, and far very far from being able to be an achiever when it came to school. I have often said that had it not been for a good friend that sat next to me at North Yarmouth Academy I might very well still be there. There are so any types of prejudices, to many for one such as myself to mention. Your poem was inspiration, I thank you for that.
    Your friend, one who truly admires your work and ability to enlighten others.

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  6. Dear Friend, Margaret ...

    Dyslexia I personally understand - Being referred to as a "dumb, stupid frog" was an unbearable remark to put up with and when I drew the line then I was punished for "making trouble". I am so sorry that you had to endure the abuses that you did - These abuses originate from blatant ignorance and hatred caused by the abusers'own intense dislike for themselves and the care-takers who taught to hate by their own actions.

    Precious folks who are poor are looked down upon ... And those with accents ... And those from the other side of the tracks', on and on and on!

    Margaret, there is nothing wrong with you and there never was - Some of our greatest minds, throughout history, were dyslectic and some of those, short. They came in all sorts of packaging and backgrounds but, oh, they were guiding lights in a black sky and in the eye of the world! They spoke in many languages with not one word set against the dignity of another human being or race ...

    An opportunity came to me by which I could be among those greater than I to help and defend those in need and in despair and I grabbed this opportunity and clutched it to my breast but by then I had a husband and six sons and they were, abeit unintentionally, moved aside and were deeply effected by my love and commitment for righteous causes that caused me to lose myself in the causes. That how it was, at least with me and this Bob could speak of to you.

    So now I paint - once in awhile. And I write and if it were not for the spell-check on my computer, I'd be the laughing stock of the blog-realm.

    You, Margaret, are the example of high intelligence and creativity ...
    Do not forget this.

    Me? I'm grateful to get away with what I get away with! I'm one lucky broad!

    Love to you and 'B' ...