Monday, August 14, 2006

Treasures of Cambridge #21 Treasures of Cambridge #21

Stephen Lack pictured in front of the vault in the former Bean Head’s Coffee House has lived in the Cambridge area on and off for nearly 20 years. Stephen says he has been, "following Red Eft’s all over the planet. I love my salamander brothers... anybody who can regenerate an arm or leg is OK by me!"

"What brought me to the area were friends of mine who were staying on a farm called Tara Hill, near the Rexleigh Bridge. My wife said our friend always picked the most beautiful places to live, whether it is in Santa Fe, Utah or here." They fell in love with the beauty of the area and bought a house on the Battenkill River.

"If there was only one thing I enjoyed doing most, I probably would do it all the time. Luckily, I am multi-vectored, shall we say. I like to paint, I like to be with my friends and family and I like to stare… and these three things can be in direct competition with one another. If you are staring out the window your friends don’t like it and you don’t get to paint. So everything needs to be done in its proper place. I like to eat too. Wow, I guess that is one thing that you can do with all the others!"

His props include a paintbrush, a work of art he produced, called The Threesome, (which depicts two soldiers walking away from a dead friend) and a copy of the New York Times.

Stephen’s main connection to the town of Cambridge is Varak Park, where he has one of the wonderful artist spaces in the beautiful Victorian Building.

Stephen himself has never been to war. But he has friends who have, and has lost friends. He talks about the idea of war as being heroic and the reality of war and how these things have changed because of photojournalistic images of death and destruction. "Everyone has become appraised of the situation, and what used to shocking, now has become simply melancholic."

Stephen does not think that the New York Times always tells him the truth, but he feels it, "at least gives you some of the dots to apply your cerebral global positioning to."

He would like to be remembered by his children and his grandchildren. "I would like to have a bit of a legacy so that they could point to things and areas in society and the culture that I either participated in or contributed to in one way or another, or that I enjoyed. It is that finger of continuity in to the future."

"There is a grove of pine trees on McDougal Lake Road , and you would not think anything of them, you might just walk past them. And then one day, somebody said to me that their grandfather won that grove of trees at the Washington County Fair in 1907. That made me feel so good, I cannot go past those trees without thinking of a kid with a shinny brushed cow, or something he did really good, and he won that grove of pines. What a beautiful thing. That’s legacy."


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