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day 5

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Day 5/50 • "Future Sights Saturday”

I remember my Grandfather (Prentiss Clark, my namesake) telling the story about hearing a guy on the radio back when he was approaching fifty years old saying, “If you've not made your fortune by the time you're fifty, it's too late." You have to imagine my grandfather talking about this. He was likely in his early 90s, with his wife of 70+ years nearby, in a beautiful home where an extraordinarily big life was led. He was about 6'4" and had huge strong hands he'd used to dig and build into existence every dream he’d envisioned. A feed and seed store, minnow ponds (I still don’t understand how this was a viable and successful business), poultry farming, and eventually real estate and land development — he saw them all in his mind, used those big hands and tireless strength to make each dream a reality until it was time to move on to the next thing. Even when he lost everything in the depression and another time later, he saw past his own reality to the life he wanted.

I distinctly remember my grandfather not getting “old” until he was around 87. Even then, his tremendous presence overshadowed a slowing body, and he continued to lead and influence his friendships, family, and business until the end at age 94.

He told that story about the guy on the radio, saying at the time he was driving a beat up old truck in the middle of the night delivering minnows on some backroad of any given state in the southeast. He heard that guy who was probably sitting in a studio or radio booth somewhere not knowing the first thing about what my grandfather was doing or capable of. Prentiss Clark, I imagine, looked at himself in the old truck and the isolated dark road ahead of him. He knew that little man in the booth had little concept of what it meant to see something for yourself and to move towards it with no regard for barriers. “I turned the radio off and told that man to fuck off.”

I’ve thought of this story a million times. It had different meaning to me in my twenties and thirties when I was so driven and ambitious. In my forties, when life changed and all of those ambitions and drive were set aside, the story told me it was ok to take a break from it all. And now, 45 days from 50, when those voices in my head try to worry me about all I’ve not done and if there’s time to do all I still want, I hear my grandfather telling them, too, to fuck off.

Day 5 - SOLD
Size: 15 x 22 inches

Graphite on 100% cotton paper

Cost: SOLD

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