Saturday, March 28, 2009

Ralph Fasanella

Ralph Fasanella was a friend of my grandfather's and a really cool guy. He was also an artist, and if you visit Ellis Island or the Museum of American Art in Washington, D.C. you'll see his work. What I remember of Ralph, though, is personal and probably a distortion of the greater context of his life. I remember him as an unrepentant cigar smoker. I remember that he loved food (especially that heavenly lasagna that his wife would bring over when they visited), and eating would put him in a mood to tell stories about his youth and the labor disputes that he'd been a part of. I remember the love he expressed for his wife.

Most of all, I remember Ralph as a man who was constantly looking for a way that his work could benefit others. He was the first hero I knew, and I never got the chance to tell him how much that changed the course of my life ... before his ended.

R.I.P. Ralph Fasanella, and thank you. I will continue to hang your prints with pride in my home and tell your story to those who see them.