Illustration done for the Science & Technology page, Journal Star, Peoria, published July 12, 1993

It went with an article about renaming "the birth of the universe."  It depicts a flow of power from God.

     A watercolor sketch of my wife Serafina Maria, mother of our three sons, Shaun, Shane and Aaron, and grandmother of eight living children: Erin, Sydney, Keegan, Joey, Anna, Andrew, Matthew, and Katie.  She grew to young womanhood in the colony of British Honduras now called Belize, the northernmost country of Central America. 

     Her home was in Orange Walk, a town on the banks of the New River which flows into the Caribbean Sea at Chetumal Bay, a notch in the mainland between Mexico and Belize.  Orange Walk was a departure point into the bush country for chicleros, those who tapped Sapodilla trees for chicle, the base of chewing gum. 

      Her mother was Leocadia Leiva of mixed Spanish and Mayan Indian origin, from San Antonio, a village on the Rio Hondo, a river bordering Mexico to the north.  Her father, Leonides Gonzalez, traced his heritage to a Confederate soldier from the U.S., to an Indian grandmother from the Mexican Yucatan, and to the Gonzalez family who came from Spain.  Born in the 19th Century, Leonides lived long into the 20th, dying on New Year's Day 1993, at the age of 101 years.   During his long lifespan he was a river boat pilot, pulling logs downriver from the interior of British Honduras.   He also worked at a distillery and his recipe is still used today in Belizean rum. 

     The land where the distillery was located was land belonging to Serafina's grandfather and is where an archeological site called Cuello was found.  National Geographic published an article on the site in July 1982 issue, calling it the oldest Maya site in the world.  Serafina remembers playing there as a child, sliding down a cerro, a hill which may've been a ruin itself, covered by the dust and dirt of time.  That it is not called the Gonzalez Site today, may be a tribute to the generosity of her father who shared the land with the heirs of a deceased brother, who in turn sold it to the Cuello family.     

     Serafina, during her lifetime, has been a citizen under three flags, first under the Union Jack of Great Britain, then the blue banner of Belize, followed by the Stars and Stripes in 1983, when she became an American citizen.   She was able to retain the citizenship of her native land, and now holds dual citizenship.  She speaks Spanish and interprets, and during  the amnesty program, she helped undocumented aliens become citizens.      JR
The below illustration was drawn on a computer but was not published in color.  The notes belong to the Triumphant March of Aida by Giuseppe Verdi which was first performed in an opera house in Cairo in 1871.  Aida is a  feminine name in Arabic meaning "visitor" or  "returning," and "reward" in Swahili.  An Ethiopian princess, Aida is captured and is a slave in Egypt.  A military commander struggles between his love for her and his loyalty to the Pharoah, whose daughter loves the commander.


   To the right and below is a drawing of an unborn child surrounded by praying Rosary for its protection.  The Rosary comprises both meditative and vocal prayer.  Its oft-repeated prayer is the Hail Mary, the first part of which is drawn from Scripture, Luke 1:28 &1:42.  The second verse has Elizabeth saying that to her cousin, the Blessed Virgin Mary, "Blessed art thou among women, blessed is the fruit of thy womb."   Two of the Rosary's meditative mysteries deal with the conception and birth of the Holy Child Jesus who chose the same way into the world that we all take; He was our Embryonic Savior and the Fetal Son of God.  

                 Below are two other depictions of the American writer Edgar Allan Poe and his Quoth the raven 'Nevermore.'

  For a pocket folder to hold material relating to God's plan for the increase of humankind.    Adam's hand rose above the pocket.

Published full page on April 26, 1998, in the Journal Star, Peoria.  Musical notes and art are shown here, but not all of the page.

 Illustrations published on the Lawn & Garden page, Journal Star, Peoria, April 13, 1996 (for an article entitled Early Plants).



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