My First 40 Years
Roger 1981 oil on canvas 19x14” $3000
While in Greenville, I began to work as a Sunday school teacher and youth worker for in my family's church. Since art wasn’t paying the bills, and I was oppressed by a guilt trip about having to serve God rather than make art, I decided to try to get into Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary in Hamilton, Massachusetts. Gordon-Conwell was where some of the clergy who’d been good influences in my life had trained, so I wanted to go to the same place. I figured God must want me to be a missionary, but when a friend asked if I’d ever worked with people unlike myself – white, suburban, middle class - I had to admit that I had not. Thus began my adventure into the big city of Boston to see what people unlike myself were like. January of 1981 was one of the coldest on record, and I had traded dorm rooms with some seminarians to live in the city of Boston and volunteer time at the Kingston House, which was a shelter/soup kitchen. Roger Dufresne was a regular there, and we became friends. He agreed to sit for me, and I became “Eddie, my artist friend” to him. This took about a month to paint in the dining hall where food was served daily to people that needed it. People would look over my shoulder and make comments, or tell me about their relatives who liked to paint. I became a subject of conversation among the many attendees there.