Mt. Vernon Register-News

Culli's Corner

November 1, 2007

Genius in disguise

I had an interesting conversation with Sarah Sledge of Cedarhurst earlier this week about one of the artists whose work will be on display starting this weekend at the Administration Building.

The collages, which Sarah said are more like mosaics to her untrained eye, were created by Breese native Jerome Schmidt under the pen name of Adoni Chevez.

It seems Mr. Schmidt, who died last year at the age of 75, was a bit eccentric. No one knew he was an artist until they went into his house and found literally thousands of art works in watercolor, pencil, pen and ink, crayons and the collages. He lived alone over his course of his life, never went to high school, but frequented the local library. Each day he would visit his aunt to get a warm meal and in the winter to warm up because he didn’t have heat or running water in his home.

Sarah said Schmidt created about 300 collages, and of the 20 to 30 that will be on display at the Administration Building each is created with “teeny, tiny” bits of colored paper.

“He had to have some tiny, sharp scissors,” Sarah commented.

The sad part of the story is that during his lifetime, no one knew the genius he was harboring and the beautiful work he was creating. Marching to the beat of a different drummer, Schmidt lived his 75 years quietly and was probably ridiculed by many.

The old adage, “Never judge a book by its cover” came to mind as I was talking with Sarah. I’ve never liked it when someone makes fun of other people — not the good-natured ribbing that friends engage in, but the kind designed to put others down.

You never know who might be the person who really does have all the answers or who will discover a cure for horrible illness or create the next masterpiece.

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Culli's Corner
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    Christopher, my 23-year-old, has made me a grandmother, and it's great!

    March 17, 2009

  • Every day craziness

    November 5, 2007

  • Genius in disguise

    November 1, 2007

  • Things are happening Congratulations go to the City Hall Cerebrals trivia team on winning first place at the St. Mary’s Parish fundraiser last weekend. The team consisted of Mayor Mary Jane Chesley, City Manager Ron Neibert, Tourism Director Bonnie Jerdon and her husband Harold, Public Works Director Allan Trout and Assistant Fire Chief Kevin Sargent. Also congratulations are in order for a fun evening to the church.

    On another City Hall note, employees are working to raise $3,500 for the United Way and are selling chances to shoot Ron Neibert with a paintball. Kudos to Ron for being willing to take the punishment! Ron says only city employees will be allowed to handle the paintball guns, but employees say they’re willing to take donations from anyone in the city to help them reach their goal.

    There are lots of things to do this weekend, so everyone ought to get out and enjoy the weather before it gets cold. The Shriner’s will be holding a ham and bean dinner at the local Masonic Lodge on Saturday. The annual knife show will be featured at the Rolland Lewis Community building at Veterans Park on Saturday, the American Legion will be hosting the Women Veterans Conference and the Amy Center will be celebrating the opening of its new facility at 500 Old Fairfield Road. Local singer Amanda Sheridan will be performing during the event which will be held from 1 to 3 p.m., and residents are encouraged to take their lawn chairs and enjoy the entertainment.

    It’s getting close to Veterans Day, which will fall on a Sunday this year, so many organizations are holding events the day before or the day after. An honor event and bell ringing ceremony will be held at the Times Square Mall on Saturday Nov. 10, the Woodlawn Veterans Memorial will be having a ceremony on Monday, Nov. 12 and the Waltonville Veterans Parade will be happening on Saturday, Nov. 10.

    If anyone is out and about on Friday, Nov. 2 and see Mt. Vernon Fire Department Capt. Chris Hurst, be sure and wish him a big happy 48th birthday. Another fireman who will be celebrating a birthday on Nov. 15 is MVFD firefighter Brad Baum who will be turning the big 30.

    On a final note, the Mt. Vernon Rams Football team will be playing in the next round of state competition at 1 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 3 at Charleston. I’ve noticed several signs going up around town wishing the team good luck, and my luck and best wishes go with them. This is a group of great kids and athletes, who have been going out all season and giving the game their all. Be sure and let them know we’re supporting them all the way.

    October 30, 2007

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