Farewell My Son

"Farewell My Son",  shows a mother's concern as her young man son leaves on a dangerous journey.  My thanks to Florence Realbird  whose wonderful face made this painting possible.  After so many years, I am sure that Florence is in the Land of the Ancestors with the Great Spirit in the sky.

I met Florence Realbird at Crow Agency, Montana many years ago.  My friend, Kieth Merrill was filming "The Great American Indian", a followup of his Academy Award winning film "The Great American Cowboy".  Florence was one of the people on the banks of The Little Big Horn River who were in some of the scenes in the movie.  She was taking care of a small child much of the waiting time (there is always a lot of waiting time on a movie set).  I was there sketching and photographing and saw Florence in this poignant moment.  After I painted this painting I made the mistake of giving it to my wife, Pamela, for Christmas (I could have sold it many times). Actually, I'm very glad she would not sell it, because...

...In 1991, our son Travis was a machine gunner in the 25th Infantry Division on the border of Saudi Arabia and Iraq, as Desert Storm, the first war with Iraq, approached.  We received very little news and we were concerned and worried parents.  We had a hard time sleeping and would be at the television day and night watching the CNN reports to catch any bit of news we could about the war and our son's combat unit.  
"Farewell My Son" hung over the television set with a large yellow ribbon attached and gave us some comfort and made us realize that this scenario is all too familiar in our world that is constantly troubled by wars.
We are still grateful to God.  Our boy came home.