1 June 2021
Vol. XI, No. 6

June 2021

For Beth & Jack Herring

“Artists are people driven by the tension between the desire to communicate and the desire to hide. … It is a joy to be hidden, and disaster not to be found. … Tell me what you fear and I will tell you what has happened to you.”―Donald Woods Winnicott

Elizabeth Boleman-Herring, “Bebe,” on Hydra, 1961. (Photo: Frederick Jackson Herring.)

Elizabeth Boleman-Herring, “Bebe,” off Patmos with a Greek tender-captain, 1962. (Photo: Frederick Jackson Herring.)

“Bebe” on Mykonos, 1961. (Photo: Frederick Jackson Herring.)

“Bebe” on Mykonos, 1961. (Photo: Frederick Jackson Herring.)

From Elizabeth Boleman-Herring: This month, Weekly Hubris’s other essayists, cartoonists, photographers, and philosophers being on spring break, we bring you one long essay only, the richly illustrated draft of my memoir-in-progress. In this piece, I write about the relocation, in 1961, from California to Greece, of my family-of-origin, and what followed on (gifts and smacks-to-the-gob, both). Non-fiction comprising a rough draft of history, this piece is rough by definition . . . but colorful, I promise: “After that first summer, I began to look bedraggled. Neither an American nor, certainly, a Greek child, and attending the American Community School in Filothei, where conforming was of essence, I was perceived as a changeling. In a snapshot taken in the 7th Grade, I stand in a striped, pencil-thin skirt made by my mother’s seamstress out of wool woven on Mykonos by Vienoula Kousathana, and one of my mother’s side-buttoned, fringed, cashmere Givenchy sweaters. My shoes are terrible, beige, suede, Greek loafers. … I remember being most vividly out of place and wearing the wrong clothes in Egypt. Dressed for church in California, in my black-velvet jumper, white blouse, Mary Janes, and white lace socks, half in and half out of my best tweed coat, I was pulled onto the dance floor at a Cairene night club, where a very young belly dancer wearing practically nothing tried to lead me through her routine. My parents and the Ganse Littles, our Presbyterian minister and his wife, then visiting from Pasadena, were gamely laughing, as was I, but in almost every way, I was out of all my elements.”

About the photographs featured on our June Home Page: My father, Frederick Jackson Herring, took all the slide images of me as a child with his 1949 Nikon M. (The images of the dolls in my collection I created in Pendleton, South Carolina, using an iPhone.)

Elizabeth Boleman-Herring, “Bebe,” on Hydra, 1961. (Photo: Frederick Jackson Herring.)

“Bebe,” Patmos, 1962. (Photo: Frederick Jackson Herring.)

Weekly Hubris

“Dolls: Nesting & Re-Nesting,” By Elizabeth Boleman-Herring

PENDLETON South Carolina—(Weekly Hubris)—June 1, 2021—My parents were married, happily, for 13 years before I was born, in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, in 1951. Shortly after my birth, my father accepted a position as the Executive Director of the Five Acres Children’s Home in Los Angeles, California, and I can remember no other early home than on Crestford Drive. Growing up there in the 1950s, I lived largely outdoors in the Arcadian perfection of southern California, one of a tribe of children as diverse as living almost anywhere in the country at that time. My family traveled, during school holidays, to Mexico, and camped extensively in the Northwest, and Canadian wilderness. I walked and swam and studied fauna in the tidepools of Ventura Beach, where, alone with my father much of the time, I had no playmates. My life indoors was even more solitary; I would be an only child. But I remember, like all children, constructing houses and cities and worlds out of boxes and chairs and sheets, and playing, primarily with tiny animal figurines, which I still have, packed away in a trunk. (Read more . . .)

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