The Emergency Room!
No, we're not kidding! Actually, a kid was involved - one whom Jaywalker found completely inspiring...
late January, the Jaywalker crew took a visit to the Kingston General Hospital's
emergency room. In the waiting area, dozens of bleak faces painted a dismal
picture of Munch proportions.
Time would inevitably drag by, and the stinging smell of disinfectant brought
back a string of memories best hidden under a blanket of dust. The view from
emerge' can be top-flight, though it was hard to tell with the blinds drawn.
Seating ourselves nearest the water as possible, we found four faces quite unfit
for the draining spirit of the room: a nine-year-old boy named Randy, his
mother, his mother's mother, and, naturally, his mother's mother's mother.
This was not exactly the normal experience of a waiting room. We had found
ourselves plenty of pleasant entertainment, while around us lay a sea of
despair. Most had headaches or other typical emergency-room fare. Everyone had
something to complain about.
But not Randy. He was just totally interested in everything around him. He
communicated himself exceptionally well, I thought...
During lulls, I entertained myself by looking over the Dasani water machine, and
trying to find recognizable shapes among the otherwise random figures. One
looked like a singing baby, if you used your imagination.
The engaging conversation carried us well, weaving aimlessly
through the day.
made it very clear by his meticulous thoughts that he may be gifted. He
eventually caught up with me with fixed gazes on the Dasani machine, and asked
what I was doing.
I told him of my time-passing imagination game, and how I was looking for a
In moments, he pointed straight at the singing baby, even mimicking it precisely
as I'd seen it on the machine. This was clearly no coincidence.
I'd asked if he was an artist, and sure enough, he was. In fact, he had the
coloured pencils and paper right with him. "You want me to draw you a
picture?" he asked. Of course I did. Then I was called into the ward.
I didn't see him again that night. But Krista appeared on the ward carrying a
drawing of me in the waiting room. Randy had told her that he really needed to
work on drawing ears better. He wanted to learn. Randy loves his art.
Long story short, we decided to push our plans way ahead, and start
building the "Garden" immediately. The Garden is a bursary-like
thingy, but based primarily on one's obvious love of art. We will find a fitting
candidate, then do whatever is necessary to give them a little encouraging
nudge. We hope for others to do this as well.
I knew right away where to send Randy. The Kingston School of Art's teacher
Debbie Doogan. She was into it, Randy's Mom approved and would ensure his
transport. We at Jaywalker just had to raise the money.
Then the school told me about PRO Kids, a city-run program whom might chip in some of the $110 needed for his first course in April. Well, one thing led to another, and between the three of us, we're putting Randy into art school.
Pretty cool, eh...? Welcome to the Garden.
Here's the picture Randy drew...
"Portrait of a Broken Publisher" by Randy, Colouring pencil on paper, 2003;
Back to March 2004 Jaywalker