Saturday, October 11, 2014

Terrance Lindall at the End of the Old, Weird America . . .

Removal to Hell (1963)
(Charon Crossing Lake Mukooda?)
Terrance Lindall

In the image above, we see Terrance Lindall being removed to hell by . . . a Charon who looks inexplicably similar to a youthful Doppelgรคnger of Professor Robert Wickenheiser! But Terrance didn't know that then - not making Wickenheiser's acquaintance till 50 years later - and remembers instead:
Back at my time at the U of Minnesota after the army I worked as a night man at the mortuary in the early 1960's. After a few months on the job, the other fellows who were my seniors left for other jobs or had graduated from the University, so I got the main bedroom, the only one that was not shared. Meanwhile, . . . a new night man [arrived] who got the smallest room separated by a curtain from the living room. It was very small since it was once just a large closet. The new fellow never showed his face. Most new guys came out to say hello and chat to get to know each other. This one only came out to go to the bathroom or go down to work in the evenings as the night attendant, totally ignoring everybody. So the others grew to dislike him roundly . . . . After talking to the other guys who were saying that they did not like him, I decided to go and talk to him to see what he was all about. He was somber and truculent. I asked what he was reading, why he got a job here and about where he grew up etc. It turned out he was a poet. Eventually I entreated him to show me his work. It was superlative! He finally came around and out of his shell. After that we became very good friends. I invited him to my room and showed him my paintings and some of my own writings . . . . [He] and I did quite a few things together. We would walk through Minneapolis, down to the Mississippi. He always had a notebook. Even though he was scholarly, he had never graduated from high school. He was always on the verge of taking the high school equivalency exam, but I am not sure he ever did. He said he had an IQ of 145. I believed him . . . . One day he showed up driving a little Sunbeam car, a very sporty yellow convertible. He said he was behind on payments and he was going to enjoy it until it was repossessed. "Let them try to find it!" he said. We drove out of south Minneapolis, at high speeds of 70 MPH, blue sky overhead, sun shining and wind blowing, out to fields where we would search for bones of long dead animals. He was really good at spotting them among the weeds. We came back, hungry as hell, and chowed down with fried rice and tea at a Chinese restaurant . . . . [Once, w]e decided to buy a small rubber boat, take a bus up to Northern Minnesota and paddle across big Crane Lake to Lake Mukooda a very isolated clear water lake in the chain of lakes on the Canadian border . . . . [E]ventually my time came to leave for New York to follow a beautiful woman. I did not have room for my largest painting "The Removal to Hell." It was the largest painting I ever did, about 4 x 8 feet.
Those were times into which I was born (1957), but which Terrance (born 1944) experienced far more of, times when one could take off hitchiking across the land or paddling across some lake on an adventure into the still wild, wide, weird America.

Terrance doesn't say what ultimately became of the painting . . .

Labels: , ,


Post a Comment

<< Home