Posted by pancho from ? (22.214.171.124) on Sunday, March 03, 2002 at 10:56PM :
In Reply to: Re: What a Day This Has Been posted by Stella from ? (126.96.36.199) on Sunday, March 03, 2002 at 2:41PM :
: I thought the monument wasn't owned by anyone but the City of Chicago...How can he claim something that isn't even his anymore (if it ever was)?
+++Grown men and women weep when I try to explain this: Over John's vehement objections, Helen decided to give $120,000.00 to finish the Shumirum. She had told John to raise the money through donations but in three years he raised not a dime...never wanted to, never tried to. Finally, and bless her heart for it, she decided to do it herself. She took the money from her own Assyrian Universal Alliance Foundation and gave it to John's AUA. The AUA sent me the money...with John gritting his teeth and Homer salivating all over those books.
The city of Chicago can not accept a gift from an individual, and besides it is supposed to be from all of us...so the AUA actually presented it to the city. And Michael Lash has maintained for six years now that the monument belongs to them, was formally given to them etc. But...they will not install it as long as John refuses to write them a letter releasing them from any future threats he might make about suing them. Or, with luck, he could die real soon. They don't need the headache or embarrassment...they thought they were doing US the favor.
John first promised to involve them in a lawsuit he had ben "advised" to bring against me. That was more bull to get me to back off my suit against Helen's estate because her sons believed their uncle when he lied to them about the commission she'd given me to make portraits of her family and other sculptures...that John didn't want to pay our from the money she left him to fly around his fly and shame us all..
He also told me later that I was the one blocking the installation because I wouldn't drop the claim for payment for all the work I'd done...said he was ready to write the letter they wanted...IF I dropped the claim. Guess what I told him?
He paid up two years ago and has never and will never sue me for anything...but the city can't trust him...figures he could get another hair up his arse and decide to sue anyone or everyone. I mean you have to admit it is odd as hell for an Assyriandoodle Grat Leeder to oppose the installation of such a monument...especially as his own sister gave so much and hoped so much and died waiting for the chance to unveil it and see it in place.
That's another reason he wont write the letter now...his "conscience" will eat him alive for leting her die like that, only to give in after she is gone. She didn't deserve that, didn't deserve him any more than we did.
John insists that as the agency that gave the monument, it should be sent to him. Whereas I am of the opinion that it should be sent to whom it was given...the city. You cannot claim to "own" the ambulance your donation bought for the Red Cross. John owns nothing...he gave not a dime and only stood in the way and tried to get Helen to stop.
Helen was the Guardian Angel of this monument...I told her that often. We spoke once about the real reason it was so hard to raise the funds, aside from no one trusting John...there was the fact that Shumirum was a woman...not a big balled king...like John.
I remember the feeling I had, the indescribable feeling, when two Assyrian girls came up to view the Shumirum the year I had it shipped, while it was just plaster, to Chicago for unveiling in the banquet hall on a Sunday night. One was about ten, the other seven...pretty, as pretty the ones being killed now...they stood by the ropes and stanchions we'd placed around the statue and just gazed up at her, towering above them in purest white. Their eyes were big, large and beautiful and liquid.... and they just stared and stared. I was busy having my head pumped with air and it was a bit before I noticed them, and once I did there was no one else there in that hall. I went over to them, and the older one said, "who IS she"? There was such wonder and worship and awe in her voice...and their smiles were magical. "She is our queen", I said, She was a woman like you will be." They didn't seem to hear or care...they just stared and stared. They're dead now.
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