Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Story of Courage

I just wanted to add this story of courage. My entry for today is below this entry.
John Bruce is an amazing artist who lives in Mariposa California.
Years ago, we were members of the artist group, A.I.C.A. (American Indian Cowboy Artists). An amazing western painter who a few years ago, got cancer and was in the V.A. Hospital in southern California. Bruce had been in the hospital for months fighting against this cancer. They were moving him from his bed, and dropped him on the cement floor, damaging his right shoulder so bad, his arm was useless.
Over the few years since that terrible incident, he's struggled to regain his ability to draw and paint. With tears in my eyes, I can tell you he's coming back. Below is a charcoal drawing he just completed of a fellow artist who passed away, some years back, Duncan Spencer (1911-1999), and I just wanted to share this triumph with you all.

Got this back from John today in response to my putting his story on my blog.
Hello again ,
Thanks for the kind words on your blog. Truth is, it's not so much courage as it is Panic. I suddenly realized that the VA was not going to pay for disabling me. They claim it didn't happen in the hospital, and it wasn't their fault. I'm appealing their decision, but the attorney tells me it will take a minimum of three years to get a hearing. I've got to try to produce some work so I can earn a living. I can't seem to paint, due to the limited range of motion of my arm but I am managing to work in charcoal. When I first got out of the hospital, I couldn't even write my name, but now with practice, I'm able to scratch out some drawing. IT FEELS GREAT ! I can't imagine what my life would be like without some art in it.



I'm very angry at the V.A. for dodging their responsibility. Is this what we have to look forward to in Government Health Care. Scary.



Gary Dombrowski said...

David, This man definitely fits the definition of perseverance. This type of treatment is nothing new and in my opinion it does not matter what person or political party occupies the top post this stuff will always be happening somewhere. Sadly there are some folks that play the VA system (and well)getting a lot in the process, while others that deserve way more getting less or nothing. I hope it's not long before your friend can pick up a brush and go beyond drawing. This is the type of stuff that should be on the evening news. Sorry for the short rant.~Gary

Artist - David Lemon said...

Sorry Gary.. Didn't see this message till just now.. I totaly agree with you. I can't stand going up to the VA..


Unknown said...

Hello Mr. Lemon;

I realize this is an old blog, but I thought I would update you nevertheless. I'm sorry to say, John A. Bruce passed in his sleep the morning of February 12, 2018. As far as I know the issue with the VA was never resolved. He did attempt to continue drawing however.

His oldest son, Glenn A. Bruce