Sunday Letters
Pete Renzetti
Above: I wish my friend Mike Brickley had access to the web, because I know he'd be drooling right now seeing all these miniature steam and combustion engines. The gent in the photo is one of many Arden artists who opened their studios on a recent tour.

written on Two-Twenty-Two Thousand

Dear Friends,

. . . It's been three weeks since my last letter. I'd feel guilty about not writing but, since only ONE person e-mailed me wondering if I was still alive, I won't feel TWO guilty on this day of twos and zeros.
. . . If last Sunday was a day of rest I would have written. It wasn't. My wife Barbara and I spent all day meeting people. We visited a new church, St. David's, and enjoyed the reception afterwards. We met five people, including a priest who grew up here in Arden and who ministers to merchant seamen who come ashore at ports on the Delaware River. After church we joined six neighbors to visit fourteen artists had opened their studios to visitors. (Note: you'll find the virtual Arden Artists Studio Tour here on this website. too. Click here to see.) After the tour, we didn't have time to stay for the reception, much as we'd like to have met another fourteen artists. Instead we rushed off to dinner with friends and their friends.
. . .Gosh, it sure is lonely up here in Delaware.
. . . Actually, it is often lonely. Meeting lots of people is not the same as enjoying time with a friend.
. . .Also last Sunday, Barbara's father, Joe, blacked out, the third time in recent weeks. This time he was at church while leading a circle of people in prayer. I joked with him last night, asking if he had been "slain in the Spirit" -- a Pentecostal experience. "No," he said, "I don't remember anything." He had been holding hands with his wife and another person in the prayer circle. They lowered him slowly to the ground once they realized he was no longer among the conscious. His skin turned pale and his eyelids fluttered. He woke minutes later staring at the ceiling with medics bending over him. "What am I doing down here?" he wondered. After three days in hospital, during which a pacemaker was implanted, Joe is now back home. He's weak but sounds good.
. . .That pretty well covers one day of the last twenty-one. Many of those days I was back in Austin, where friends fed me and gave me lodging while I spent the daylight hours working on our property. I finished putting insulation in the attic of the Mike Brickleygarage apartment and replaced the roof on the carport. Meanwhile Mike Brickley, an expert in such things, replaced a broken garage door with french double doors, and, in general, kept me from making any big mistakes That's him to the right,helping raise one side of the carport so the roof will drain. There's lots more to be done on the property, but I don't know when or how.
. . . This week I've been working and looking for work. I am still maintaining the website for St. David's in Austin ( and Nick Boltz is suddenly sending me tons of stuff (really heavy words), all of which I've used to update the site. Tuesday I met with the Bishop of Delaware, who said he might have some webwork for me. Wednesday I put my resume on my website and Thursday sent it to an on-line graphic-art employment company at
. . .Looking for work is challenging. It's been decades since I wrote a resume. Having put one on my website, I find myself constantly updating it. Just last night I remembered that for years I had been the photographer for Yacov Sharir's American Deaf Dance Company. The night before I remembered I had been published in a book: "No Apologies -- Texas Radicals Celebrate the '60s." I wasn't a radical and didn't get to Texas until 1970 but I was given a chapter in that book anyway. The Rev. Jesse Jackson wrote the foreword. Is this the sort of thing YOU forget?
. . .One challenge is to figure out what I'm looking for. What I've decided on is something I call "Community Communications." That's what I did at St. David's and would like to do here. The "Arden Artists' Studio Tour" is a good example. But who will pay for such work?
. . .My fear is that at some point I need forget about what I'd like to do and find work to pay the bills. Perhaps I passed that point weeks ago. At the moment it looks like I'll take a temporary position, something neither engaging nor lucrative. Still, I have hopes for better.
. . .A real possibility (whatever that means) is that I would become managing editor of "Image" magazine, a journal of religion and art ( I had a good conversation recently with the publisher, Greg Wolf, who MAY need someone to fill that position temporarily. I attended Greg's seminar at Ghost Ranch, New Mexico, last August. They operate, for the moment, just across the Pennsylvania border in Kennett Square, perhaps twenty-five minutes from here.
. . .Also encouraging is that I keep getting e-mail from total strangers saying the St. David's website is the best they've seen. It suggests I could make a living building sites for churches and other communities. But being able and being hired are two very different things. In the meantime, I've taken these accolades and shamelessly added them to my resume, under the heading "Unsolicited Testimonials."

Robert and Gail
. . . Yesterday Barbara and I visited two old friends -- Robert McCandless and Gail Dobmeier -- at the Philadelphia Convention Center where they were marketing their glass at the Buyers Market of American Craft. It was good to see this dynamic duo doing one very necessary part of their work -- selling. We also got to see something like two thousand other artisans hawking their wares to ten-thousand buyers. What a show!
. . . It snowed again Friday, over three inches, with lots of rain on top of that. This means, as you walk through the snow, slush with the consistency of a Slurpee splorks out from under your boots with every step you take.
. . . Did you know that "Slurpee" is a registered trademark of the Seven-Eleven Corporation? I say so only because I once wrote an article for "The Rag" in which I referred to a soft drink called "Coke" without using the register mark. The Coca-Cola Bottling Corporation sent me a letter informing me that the word belonged to them and, while speech is protected by the First Amendment, I could only use their word if I added a registration mark behind it OR if I added a footnote noting Coca-Cola's claims. Having said that, another worry arises. In the paragraph above, I used the phrase "every step you take" -- the title of a boffo hit song by Sting. Will his attorneys be contacting me?
. . . Clearly it is time to end this rambling missive. May your faith be strong and your love, tender.


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