Those of you who read this column on a regular basis will remember "Seventy Winters." I told the story about a sculpture of an old Indian and how much I would love to own it. I fell in love with Herb Mignery's bronze piece while I was working as a volunteer at a gallery in Brookgreen Gardens in Pawleys Island, SC.
The statue appealed to me because I, too, was 70 years old at the time. Looking at the face of the old Indian, I could see the stress of the years there. He sits astride his horse in a world-weary way. But the viewer knows that he is a strong man. Many of the visitors to the Brookgreen gallery commented on the realism of the piece. One gentleman said, "That's the most beautiful sculpture I've ever seen."
Actually, I wrote two columns about "Seventy Winters." The second column was written around Christmas last year. I bemoaned the fact that I would never get the statue as a holiday gift, thanks to its hefty price tag.
Well, thanks to my columns, I now am the proud owner of a pen and ink sketch of "Seventy Winters," drawn by Herb Mignery himself. The sketch arrived in the mail after I had received a very nice email from Herb, who had seen my column and knew how much the statue meant to me.
I suppose this incident of generosity on his part can be attributed to the World Wide Web. Who would have thought that an artist out in Colorado would make contact with a column writer from Florida who writes for a newspaper in Pennsylvania? Only in our modern technological world could that happen.
The fact that a world-renowned sculptor felt good about my writing made me feel very humble. The fact that he took it upon himself to make a unique and rare sketch for me made me feel very special.
The sketch of "Seventy Winters" holds a place of honor in our den, right beside family heirlooms and photos of all those I love. The old Indian resides in a black frame, which compliments the pen and ink sketch.
I have been the recipient of many gifts during my lifetime, but the most recent two gifts are my favorites. When my daughter Jennifer presented me with a copy of the book "Marjorie's Antique Shop" (a novel-written in the early 1940's- which I had searched for since my 20's), the love behind that gift made me cry.
When Herb Mignery sent me the sketch of "Seventy Winters," I cried, too. The fact that a famous artist would take the time to produce such a lovely art piece for me personally was amazing.
I may never get to own a copy of 'Seventy Winters' in bronze, but I am very happy with my pen and ink sketch.
(If you would like to contact Dr. Smith, she can be reached at her e mail address: firstname.lastname@example.org or in care of this newspaper)