Lincoln Bejan and Me

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Posted by panch from ( on Thursday, April 11, 2002 at 12:28PM :

Lincoln and I

Lincoln Bejan, Jackie's husband is a good man. He appears to be rough and gruff and uncaring...sardonic, and with a slight twist to his nose as if he always smelled something rotten in the air around him. He often scolded me for expending so much time and energy on our community, not because he doesn't value his heritage, but because he understands well enough that we have been in such a woeful state for so long, that anyone who seeks to better our condition will necessarily have to wake us up...and we wont thank that person for showing us the mess we've been sleeping in all these years.

When Jackie bought sculpture from me it was always with a great flourish. People can be poor in spirit and/or poor in pocket book. Jackie has been poor in pocket book, we all have (I wouldn't be surprised to learn that her father once stood in our garden in Kuwait asking mine for help)...and she is poor in spirit as well. She is one of those we produce with dismal regularity who really do believe they can buy class...that the kind that's peddled in stores for the weak-headed is the real stuff, the stuff you can hide your poverty of spirit behind...and you CAN, so long as you deal with others like yourself.

Lincoln no doubt has been poor of pocket too, but I believe he has a far more noble spirit and his rough and gruff facade is merely the defensive mechanism of a boy who felt too keenly the injustices and stupidities of life, grown to a diffident seeming manhood. He is tough where he needs to be and yet underneath it all is as sentimental and mushy as the best of us. Jackie's warmth and concern and friendliness are all exterior heart she is crass, crude, vulgar, gruff and ruthless. Lincoln is really what he is on the inside, not the out...and Jackie is, regretably, the same. She is perfectly suited for what she does best...present a front that fools the gullible, that gives a promise of friendship to those who have ever wanted to believe that someone with three used cars could actually take an interest in them. And she uses that silliness in people well.

After buying a few pieces Jackie felt she had "invested" enough in me...that I was hers from then on...always to play the role of the eager puppy, ever hopeful she might look on me with favor again...and buy some more. Buy, Buy, Buy, sell, sell, sell, money, money, money...this is how she manipulates people and rises above us all to claim supremacy on that dung hill these people have made of Assyria.

Often I would stop in at their place of business and chat with Lincoln about this and that. He once gave me a hand operated fork lift to be used hoisting bags of plaster or sculptures etc. He'd expressed genuine concern about my chronic bad back...something every sculptor gets eventually. I thought it a fine gesture on his was a used one and one he probably didn't need, but still it showed concern and there were other signs like making his truck available to me whenever I needed to haul something and getting angry at me when I bought a trailer to use instead.

I don't like taking only. I think it is far more difficult to receive than to give and being a broke sculptor most of my life, leanred to accept things and help graciously. But I always looked for ways to give whatever I could in return.

Lincoln once mentioned in passing that on vacation in Hawaii he'd visited a gallery and seen there a sculpture he really liked. It was a fairly good sized sculpture of a roaring lion, done in that sleek, highly polished style so popular a while back. He hadn't bought the piece then, but it remained in his memory. It so happened that the sculptor of that piece and several more in that style Leute Vanderveen, a Norweigan, cast his pieces at the same foundry I did. I had seen several of the very same lion sculptures Lincoln admired go through there. It also happened that Leute had seen some of my skeleton sculptures and wanted one in particluar. He'd asked how much they were and, true to form, I'd said they weren't really for sale...I'm like that.

After learning that Lincoln liked the lion I offered to trade Leute the skeleton suspending the man from the ladder, and the Adam and Eve for one of his lions. He agreed and the foundry crated up and sent Lincoln a lion. It arrived at his office unannounced. I'd forgotten about it entirely and was surprised by a call from him some weeks later. he thanked me, said he'd been very surprised, how had I done it and ended by saying he owed me one. Naturally I responded that he didn't owe me anything at all, glad to be able to reciprocate and we left it at that.

It was Lincoln who made the last purchases, even down to the $6000 he gave me for the Hammurabi, the money Jackie now claims was a loan from she has been repeatedly asking me to repay and which I have refused to do...another lie she signed her name to. The man has class...she is an ass...there IS a difference.

All during the convention, when we were standing down by the sculptures, we could clearly see Lincoln, helping Jackie out by working the doors and seeing that things ran smoothly. Often our eyes would meet and we would gaze for a moment before looking away. We never spoke and I understood of course that he had to back his wife even though he knew damn well what she'd done was wrong, though he didn't know the half of it then. On the last day, during the picnic, when I went out to retrieve the car from the parking lot, I had to pass through the turnstiles at the entrance to the county fairgrounds. From a distance I saw Lincoln standing on the other side of the exit, directly in my path. I figured he would casually move away and let me pass, but he didn't and as I came nearer still he turned to confront me head on. I walked through, not about to change course...we had done nothing to each other why would I avoid him?

As I passed through to the outside he said hello, asked how I was doing. I replied that under the circumstances I was doing well enough. He then extended his, and we shook each other's hand warmly and with affection. It was his way of letting me know that he was sorry, that he didn't agree with what Jackie had done, but was not able to stop her either. I wont say he was waiting out there to shake, but he could easily have avoided it, and he was the one to extend his hand. I have no doubt that he belives I got a rotten deal from his wife...but then so has he.

-- panch
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