A Side Note About This Sketch - Updated
In the early 1970's I was married and attending college in a small city in the Midwest. I was also pregnant with my daughter. At the edge of town there was a sporting goods store similar to Cabela's, and one day while we were shopping there I found the above poster, costing around twenty dollars. I fell instantly in love with it. I saw in this wild little girl a reflection of the inner spirit that I hid so well to the world, and I was certain that she was holding tightly to the hand of God. I bought the poster, had it matted and framed and hung it on my wall.
Fast forward two years, my then husband decided to disenroll from divinity school in Denver mid-term, and join the Army. He did this without discussing it, and informed me after he had enlisted. In short order he went off to basic training and my daughter and I returned to South Dakota to stay with my parents until he completed training and received a permanent assignment. We joined him for AIT in Indianapolis for a few months during winter, and then he was sent to Germany, once again leaving us behind to wait.
In the Spring he was able to secure housing for us, an apartment in a small town about twenty minutes from the American/German military post in Ulm. Once orders for us to join him were processed, the Army contracted with movers to come and pack and crate our household belongings for shipment overseas. Precious items included among our things were a rocking chair that had been handmade for our daughter, and the above poster in it's frame. We knew that we would be there for two years, so of course we wanted our personal items with us, we had no thought that they might be lost.
However, something went wrong with the shipment, and it was lost before it ever reached us. After making do with loaner items, borrowed furniture, etc., we were told to file a claim for the lost goods. We were reimbursed pennies to the dollar and were only able to purchase necessities, like kitchen ware, and a few furnishings. I mourned the loss of the more precious items.
Several months after that, the shipment was finally located in a military warehouse in Frankfort, and we were told that we could buy it back, since they had already compensated us for it's loss, but... and this is the big BUT... they would only sell us the entire lot, and would not allow us to buy individual pieces from the shipment. WTH? Needless to say, we were living on a PFC's salary, and had no reserve funds to buy it all back, so our things were eventually auctioned off somewhere, and we never saw them again. For most of it, my thought was "it's just stuff, it's replaceable", but there was no way to replace the little rocking chair with my daughter's name on it, nor the sketch that was no longer available for sale. (This was long before the days of Amazon and eBay, no way to track another down.)
Since then, I have searched for another copy of the sketch many times, to no avail. Then, this weekend, as I prepared to write the "Wild Child" story, it came quickly to mind as the perfect illustration for this story, surely this little girl would represent Zina well. Searching Google Images for "Don LaForte artist" lo and behold, up came this image that was posted in Collectors Weekly about a year ago. I was both stunned and delighted. It was the first time I had seen the print since I lost my copy thirty five years ago! I cried. I am so in love with this little girl, she captured my spirit way back then, and she holds it now.
I am going to try to find a way to contact to the person who bought this print to see if there is any possibility that she might consider selling it. Please keep your fingers crossed for me, that maybe, just maybe, she will!
UPDATE: I received an email from Collectors Weekly informing me that they are unable to forward my message to the collector that owns this print, citing their confidentiality guidelines. They also deleted my comment on her post in which I requested that she contact me. Another dead end. :-(