James Baldwin and Irwin Smith in New York City


I have a fascination with James Baldwin

The brilliant  " writer and playwright James Baldwin was born on August 2, 1924, in Harlem, New York. One of the 20th century's greatest writers, Baldwin broke new literary ground with the exploration of racial and social issues in his many works. He was especially known for his essays on the Black experience in America."

Baldwin resided in France for many years so that he could live and write as a Gay, African American man without the daily grind of racisim and hate.

I also love the painter Edward Hopper, especially his painting Nighthawks, which  depicts 4 anonymous and uncommunicative people in New York City hanging out in a diner. I can feel the lonliness of these people isolated from one another in a large city.

I added a photo of my father, Irwin Smith sitting at the counter indulging in one of his 8-10 daily cups of coffee that kept him going on the treadmill of life- surviving the daily grind of a 2 hour commute, anti-semitism, leukemia and an environment sadly lacking green spaces and fresh air.

My father was born in 1919. He was kind, extremely intelligent, a sculptor, photographer and electrical engineer. I think that James Baldwin and my father could have been friends if they had met in a place and time when people of different races, ethnicities and gender identities accepted one another.

The painting hanging in my collage's store window is one that my father bought in the 1950s. It is a winter scene painted by the prolific artist Henry Gasser. 

Now that I am the retired Recycling Occupational Therapist there is more time to explore new ways to exercise my creativity.  By drawing and writing about social justice I have found a meaningful occupation that I will hopefully be able to look back on in 30 years with satisfaction and pride.






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