Art by Eula Long


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I have five solid objects to anchor my memories for Eula Long, who was tossed abruptly out of this life in 1991, hit by a car. I knew her for about 15 years as artist, creator of children's books, poet, and wonderful spirit, living in the Russian River area north of San Francisco, California.

Kittens around


"Kittens in the round" is undated, untitled, and unsigned. I inherited it from the artist. The pen and ink drawing is similar to the drawing on the back of her book, For Cat Lovers. Drawings to frame. The book is © Nine Lives Press, 1972 and Photolithography by Phelps/Schaefer Litho, San Francisco. Also Eula did a drawing of Elizabeth, inspired by Elizabeth's poem. Eula wanted me to create a stained glass window for the new Guernville library. Sonoma county officials decided to hold a competition for the commission. You can see my design, although it did not win.

I have an angora cap that Eula knit or crocheted. The last object is something valuable that Eula left to me from her art collection. It is a pyroengraved gourd with a carrying string from Peru.

When Eula was deemed legally blind, she moved from her home in the tiny town of Jenner on the coast to a condo in the city of Santa Rosa. Here is her poem announcing the move.

ON MOVING ON

The escrow bird pecked out the letters of my name,

caw-cawed the closing date of sale,

then flapped away.

The funky little house no longer belonged to me.

My dust ingrained furniture that had cozied up to redwood

walls must learn to live bravely with plaster whiter than

Saint's-blood, holier than thou.

My cache of treasured junk, a chip off here, a screw loose

there, must learn to hide in corners, and rag-bag chairs

squat low on carpeting by Sears.

Tarnished copper must no longer flaunt my shame.

But I beg of the mirror that once held a glimpse of the river

and the crest of Goat Rock hill, not to erase an image I hold

dear, a full moon high above a flowering hawthorne tree,

pregnant with mimic apples that would fruit in the fall to

comfort migrating birds.

 

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