Wolf Moon January 2019
**The Death of Lucille French Clark**
Lucille French Clark was an essential person in my life when I made the transition from Austin to Marathon. I had set up, by phone, to rent a building on the main street next to the post office, but when I got here with three truck loads of equipment and called my "would be" landlord, he decided that he didn't want to rent the building. Had he given me this news prior, I may not have come. So here I am in town without a home. I panicked a bit, but Giddings Brown drove me around looking for a building. I liked the one across the tracks and we knocked on the owner's door. 88 year old frail, but sharp, Lucille. Giddings and I sat down in her room, and made introductions and discussed the possibilities. She told me she would rent me the building for $50. a month, but all repairs would be up to me. Then she asked me where I was going to live, and suggested I look at the little adobe house next to hers. It was perfect for me, and that was going to cost $50. a month too, with the same conditions. I was so happy that when I hugged her she crunched. And thus began our friendship. I was flanked on both sides of her. I would go over and sit with her and talk, but sometimes I would go for days and not see her. I was getting the building set up, going to the park as much as I could and learning how to cook. It was all so exciting. Over the next few years Lucille's health slowly declined. On April 4, 1991. It started out sunny, but then a norther blew in and tore my flag from the pole and into her driveway. She died in the morning. Later that day it hailed in the Glass Mountains, and they stayed covered for three days. I don't know if you get to make a statement in death, but if so that sure was one.
I had become the caretaker of the place, but I didn't go in much. It was too sad and fresh for me. One day I decided to document the house as she left it. I did that, but it didn't do much for me. There was a tarantula in the yard, so I brought it in and put it on the dining room table and made photographs as it crawled across. I loved it. I went looking for more critters, and over several weeks photographed each room with one. It was great. The Bull Snake on Sofa is the most popular one, and is in several museum collections. And it's funny you know because I've heard analogies that the furniture represents Lucille, and the snake is a reclaiming by nature. It is an interesting concept, but it wasn't about that at all for me. I just loved seeing the animals in the house and on things. I like the repetitious pattern of the snake and the sofa, but I was trying not to get bit by them. The main accomplishment for me was that I was able to use my camera to pay homage to the life of my friend.
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Happy New Year and Happy Full Moon. Remember there is an eclipse tonight.