“…what a time it was, a time of innocence, a time of confidences. Long ago, it must be, I have a photograph. Preserve your memories…” Simon and Garfunkel’s Old friends/Bookends

Ah, yes. An old friend, Davey H. dropped by it’s a wovensunshine kinda place over Thanksgiving holiday and left a comment on the “they say you can never go home again”blog post. His message was heartwarming—I’m not the only who recalls the uniqueness of our college years in Kent, Ohio.

I received an email from him today which included the text below and two photographs of his 22nd birthday batik. I love that over a decade later, he still owns it. I’d mentioned the batik in an email I’d sent him— I’d recently found the original sketch up in the art studio. I see these pictures now and I am humbled, softened. So, with all things being right and perfect in the universe, the batik hangs behind Davey’s drum set. Like a puzzle piece falling into place, I smile.

“…I don’t know if you realize it, but my 22nd birthday has always been one of my favorites, because of the batik and the fact that I got it in Brady’s when everyone in the joint was singing me happy birthday. There are few times in your life when you have a cheers moment where everyone knows your name and they sing it out as you’re getting old. As a reminder I attached a few photos of your work in my little basement studio…”

I feel a sense of wonder when I look at the batik. I am struck by its simplicity and its warmth. I remember sitting on the floor with a needle, pulling the threads—for hours and hours— to make the tassles. I remember rolling it up and heading to Brady’s that night for the show, giddy to give this to him. I remember the old hardwood floors and the band set up in the bay window, campus in the background. The music makers I adored, dancing with friends to 528 ragtime— “I remember walking through the summer time…”

Davey lives in Maine now (I sigh. I’ve always romanticized Maine) with his wife and dog on a little cape. From his email, I can feel that he is happy and content. Another golden star, shining in the night sky, living the life they love.  Thank you, Davey.

As time moves forward, old friends return to warm my heart. My batiks are also old friends and I am humbled to see them again. To all my friends who are still in possession of a WovenSunshine Batik, thank you for preserving this part of our history. I cannot express how grateful I am to those who knew me in Kent, Ohio. If you have a WovenSunshine Batik, I would love photos!

To Kent folks (past/present), if you happen to stumble across this post, the other one (They Say You Can Never Go Home Again-Kent Ohio), or the batik posts from college (WovenSunshine Batiks), I hope you will drop a note. Merry Christmas, everyone! Love, JIG

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