Thursday, October 6, 2016

The Scholar (1987)

The house for cancer children, in Minneapolis, Minnesota Chick Evens in 1987 was invited to visit, on behalf of a board member, wishing he’d do a chapbook for the children, to give them hope.  He volunteered his time, and rights to the book. But as the project began, before it even got started you might say, it somewhat dimmed. Let me explain:
       In 1981, Evens had published his first book, “The Other Door,” it would in thirty-years become a sought after book, a book that sold for $5.00, would be selling, for $125.000, First Edition, a collectable.  Then he created six chapbooks of children’s tales, one called “The Tale of Willie the Humpback Whale” gave 500-free books to “Toys for Tots”, to this day 8, 000-books have been published, or printed.  These books were created between 1982 and 1984.  In 1985, he wrote a book on Child Safety that got a response from President Reagan, and the newspapers in the Twin Cities, Minnesota.  He had worked during these years at Midway National Bank, and was devoted to the word.
       Now dear reader, we must backtrack to 1987, where the board member, a woman in her mid-40’s had asked Mr. Evens to visit the cancer home for children, to which he did, and talked too many of the children. Thereafter, upon agreeing to do the work, and working out a draft of a short tale with drawings and all, Evens being a fairly good artist, he was invited by that same board member to attend a showing and lecture on the Children’s Home that was sponsored by an international fast food chain (one we all know of course).  During this visit, sitting and watching the movie, with perhaps twenty-five other guests, two young employees by the firm sat behind him, asking many questions, boisterously, meaningless jargon and nearly giggling, telling him how they felt the chapbook should go after learning Evens was the invitee or the person whom was to work with them in this project: whom was tasked to do the job, saying it needed to be this way, and that way, and not Evens’ way,  and endlessly cutting his ideas to shreds, but having no creative ideas of their own. Then Mr. Evens simply said, “Why are you people asking me to do something when you already know what you want, and evidently, it isn’t anything I’m producing, thus, you don’t need me!”
       Of course, that was the point.  Evens had told them he had created a book of hope, by creating an image of a turtle, having seen the children and their interest in cartoons, and to drive the message of hope, not giving up, feeling this had richness to its surface. But these young men took insult to everything he said. Consequently, Evens told them to get out of his way, and he got up and walked out.  Presupposing he’d not want to work with such berry pickers—
       The following week, he had met the board member, and she asked what took place, hearing he had left.  And he explained to her the story, and she said she’d bring it up to the board.  But, Evens simply said, “They’ll look for a weakness in everything he does, to get control, and he didn’t want, nor had the time to accommodate that.”  He knew those two did not have the ability to heal with words, or art, they were political machines— ambitious at the expense of the children: those who never have hurt, live without out that knowledge of how to heal.

#1171/ 10-6-2016