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Letter to Olen Bryant

 

CommentaryClarksville, TN – On Thursday night, August 11th, 2016 the Customs House Museum and Cultural Center hosted a gala affair to introduce the “Women Painting Women 2016” exhibit.

Also on display was a wonderful sculpture  exhibit from Olen Bryant.

Jerry Church standing next to the portrait of Olen Bryant and one of his sculptures at the Customs House Museum.

Jerry Church standing next to the portrait of Olen Bryant and one of his sculptures at the Customs House Museum.

The Letter

Dear Olen,

We missed you. There was food and wine and lots of friends and viewers of sculpture and paintings, but what was missing was YOU. I tried to explain to Jim Zimmer the new director of the Customs House what it was like to study with you at Austin Peay State University (then State College), and how your quick dry sense of humor was so contagious, but I’m afraid I didn’t do a very good job.

The video in the small gallery gave a hint of the sparkle in your eyes and the smiles you always had for your students, but we all wished to have you there with us Thursday night as the exhibit opened.

There is a wonderful portrait of you on the wall, and I could hear your voice on the video, but it just wasn’t the same as having you with us. Inclement weather and age have a way of playing tricks on those of us who have been around for a while.

Your ironing board maiden will remain on the wall, your wonder wood and clay faces will be there for all to see, but we hope that you can join us soon to once again give us a little chuckle and tell us another tale or two.

Be well my old friend and come back to Clarksville to visit us soon.

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