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m e m o i r

Love is...

The strength we need will come from love.
Love will come from giving love.
Love grows on love.
Our strength is in love...not in strength.
The poor, the rich, the ill, the healthy, the weak, the strong...
All of us will find peace through love.
Love comes from love.

The Art Of Hope & Love

The Memoir Of A Dreamer
By John Feight

Chapter One  | Chapter Two | Chapter Three | Chapter Four | Chapter Five | Chapter Six

Chapter Four

Springtime in Paris

Linda and I decided to enjoy the image we had in our minds of Paris by going in April...because of the song "April in Paris". We discovered the song should have been written in May...when the flowers burst forth and the trees show their young green leaves. Regardless of the timing, Paris was absolutely beautiful.

The night we met the Hermanns changed everything. Through a friend in Atlanta who worked for Reader's Digest, Bob Wallace, we were introduced to Bruno and Ella Hermann. Bruno worked for Reader's Digest in Paris. They showed us Paris the real way...dinner and a tour by two people who loved Paris and thought we should, also.

After dinner, the Hermanns drove us around Paris...with the water fountains shooting into the night sky and the City of Lights living up to her was a magical night to remember. The final touch came when Bruno drove his car right up over the curb and into the Tuileries Gardens to position us so that we were looking right through the Napoleon Arch and straight down the Champs-Elysées...with the boulevard lit up like an over-loaded Christmas tree. There was no doubt that we had just fallen in love with Paris...for a lifetime.

We did go to the Crazy Horse Saloon...where I must admit I fell asleep. This is basically impossible for a male to do when topless ladies are dancing before your very eyes. It had been a long day of touring...I have no other excuse for such a poor performance on my part.

The idea of having a show in Paris didn't emerge until I was back in Atlanta and back into my routine at work and painting at night. I was having a one-man show in a bank in Oklahoma and thinking too hard while painting in my studio, a guestroom converted into a studio in my home in Sandy Springs, just north of Atlanta. A thought flew through my brain...if I can have a show in Oklahoma City, I can have a show in Paris. Why not!!! The Hermanns, now my "very" close friends, could help make it happen...they could find me a gallery. I wrote them the following letter:

Bruno and Ella scared me to death with their reply...a month later. This was before email...during telex. I, with everyone else, never knew how fast letters would travel in the future.

The Hermanns answered a dream...I couldn't believe it...I was going to have a show in Paris. Then I realized I had nothing to exhibit. I wrote back saying I can't do it...not right now...I must paint for a year. So, the plan was set, I painted for a year and continued to exhibit my work at Gene & Gables Restaurant in downtown Atlanta and in other places.

I spent more time on landscapes and Amish paintings...painting subjects from where I was born in Killbuck, Ohio.

My November date for Paris was fast approaching and I still didn't have enough money to make it to Paris.

I had joined Oliver White, who had The Creative Department. We changed the name to "Feight & White" Advertising. I was still working as an account executive and had the understanding that I could still have my show in Paris.

When I decided to have a show in Paris, I went to Gene Dale (of Gene & Gabe's) and told him I needed to pull the paintings (18 paintings) out in order have a private show to rise money to cover my travel expenses to Paris. He said come back in two weeks and you can pick them up. So, I went back in two weeks and Gene said "I'm not going to give them to you...I'm going to buy all of them." Wow, I couldn't believe it! He gave me $2,500...and I was on my way to Paris. We both got a deal.