On Saturday, March 20, Randy Clark, a classmate and friend from my Western Baptist College contacted me. Randy shared that he had seen pictures of Dad and Dad’s paintings on Facebook. It reminded him of his dad’s and my dad’s connection back in the 1960’s. Through a series of messages with Randy and my Dad, I pieced together a story of friendship and art.
Jack Dorsey and Ronald Clark met at Seattle Pacific University. Dad thinks it was in German class. They became friends. Dad drove to Spokane for Ronald’s wedding to Charmaine. He had the honor of serving as Ronald’s best man.
Jack presented Ronald and Charmaine with two paintings as wedding gifts on June 20th, 1964.
I asked Randy about the paintings. He asked his dad. Dad told Ronald the painting was of a cabin up northwest of Wenatchee where he used to retreat to relax; a cabin that he lived in when it was warm and that he enjoyed painting there.
I suspected that the painting of the valley was of Plain, WA. Dad’s family had moved to a 400+ ranch there when he was sixteen. I thought the painting of the cabin was of the cabin next to their ranch house. Dad and Mom would spend their honeymoon in that tiny cabin. I asked Dad and it turned out I was correct.
These are some of the earliest paintings of Dad’s that I’ve seen. Dad was twenty-four at the time. His abilities as an artist were just developing. But you can see the fresh, crisp, realistic yet loose watercolor style he became known for. These paintings gifted by a young artist have been treasured ever since by Ronald, and proudly hang over the mantle of his house in Carson City, Nevada.
I asked Ronald if his dad who is now eighty three would like to talk to my Dad, who is now eighty one. He said of course. So we shared their phone numbers and I expect this week they will talk all these years later. I love how art and friendship intertwine, and, how they still matter after all these years.
To check out Jack Dorsey’s art you can visit the online art show and auction that is celebrating his 81st birthday. Some of these paintings were done 57 years after the two paintings that Dad gave to Ronald Clark!