I don't remember the exact quote from the commercial, something to the effect of "Just as good as being there..." Probably from an advertisement for a camera, film, or telephone service. In any case, one of the efforts I have made with the majority of my art, is to invite the viewer to "be there". I know that you can't smell the fragrance of the rose, or feel the heat of the desert floor or physically trudge through the snow in some of my winter scenes. However, what does go through my mind as I create, is for you to feel as refreshed as I do, when completing a piece. The feeling I experienced, after a stroll through the Boys Town Rose Garden... It wasn't often I grew "homesick" after leaving Louisville and being accepted at Boys Town. I think that at 11 or 12 years old, the 750 mile move seemed to be more of an adventure, than a life-changing, destiny-altering event. However, there were moments when my mind would wander to the Bluegrass State, and I'd get that empty feeling in the pit of my stomach. In a house with 20 to 25 other students there were still times when I was left feeling very much alone in the world. Students who've been there can also relate to the sensation of intensely feeling out of place or being in a strange land. To combat and overcome that lonely feeling, I"d often retreat to the rose garden, which used to be located over near the Grade School Dinning Hall. Throughout the season, there are hundreds of roses in bloom, in the garden on the Boys Town Campus. I later learned, the garden 'history' goes back to the 1930s when Father Flanagan encouraged gardening as a positive outdoor activity for the students. The garden is now adjacent to the home where Father Flanagan lived, near the bronze statue honoring the man who dedicated his life to improving the lives of children around the world. It didn't take long after a soul searching, I once again knew and accepted the fact that I was right where I was meant to be. I am fortunate to live in the proximity of the Boys Town campus. And, I do take the opportunity from time to time, to stroll around the campus off of Dodge Street. I call it my "mind clearing, energy renewing" time. I am anticipating the upcoming reunion and the opportunity to reconnect with the largest family reunion on record! Funny. As an adult, my "homesick" feeling goes immediately to that 1.4 square miles formerly know as Overlook Farm. . This peice, the Whisky Mac Rose. is a very famous and popular rose. Rightly so. Bronze buds open to reveal wonderful rich-apricot blooms right through the season. I hope you can connect with the energy of this piece and allow your imagination to wander. Thank you for coming by!