Wednesday, May 13, 2009

The Carl Bray Story . . . your warm fuzzy for the day

Back in February of last year I wrote a post about what one object I would grab if something disastrous were happening to my home. That one thing is a painting by Carl Bray. It's the painting you see in my blog header above. It means the world to me.

Well a few months ago (a year and a week from the date of my original posting about the painting), I received a 5x7 envelope in the mail. It stuck out from all the other mail because it had a hand-drawn picture of a desert smoke tree on it. The drawing was initialed C.B. And the return address . . . Carl Bray.

The letter tucked inside, from the 91-year-old Mr. Bray, said that he had read my post. And then he wrote, "You said you wish you could tell Mr. Bray how much this little painting means to you. Well, your wish just came true." Standing in my kitchen reading this, I started to cry. Harleigh came running out thinking that I was reading some telegram with dreadful news. Quite the contrary. The meaning of my painting just became all that much more special.

He went on to say that he has always prayed that his work would make life a little more pleasant to each person that bought one of his pieces. He invited me to an art show in California (included the invitation) and said he hopes to meet me some day. And I truly believe that when I am long gone, he will be one of the five people I meet in heaven.

Here is a picture of Mr. Bray that was sent to me by Kim Housken, a friend of Mr. Bray's and a very active citizen in the historic preservation of Palm Desert. Thank you so much, Kim! Kim is the one who delivered a copy of my blog post to Mr. Bray and followed up with a lovely email in response to my request to Mr. Bray to post about his letter. And she let me know that his 92nd birthday is this week so that I could send him a birthday card!

[Photos at beginning of post are by Ali Harper.]


ali said...

Every time. Every time!

(Crying at my desk.)

It's just the best and sweetest story ever. Thank god for him! And you!

belladella said...

Chills. What a wonderful story. This makes me smile so much.

Jenny Fowler said...

What an awesome story - how sweet of him to acknowledge you! Thanks for sharing this. It is the little sweet things in life like this that make it so meaningful.

Claudia said...

Dawn, the is the most wonderful story. You must treasure that note from Carl Bray...what a lovely man! Thanks so much for telling it to us.

Empty Nest Full Life said...

What a delightful treat! I know you were excited to personally hear from Mr. Bray, and so thoughtful for him to personally take time out to write you. Have a blessed day. Jackie

Leslie said...

Thank you for sharing this story. My husband and I acquired one of Mr. Bray's older paintings about a year ago and it is one of my favorites. We had the pleasure of meeting him recently at an art show in Palm Desert. He is indeed a special person and his art obviously brings joy to many people.

Brenda said...

What a heartwarming story! Thanks for sharing!

Denise said...

Oh, your story gave me goose bumps.


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