On October 25 and 26, Julie and I were in Kewanna for Diane Tesler’s annual art festival. Julie was showing her artwork along with Diane and Wade Bussert and several of Diane’s students and many members of the regional arts community. It was an excellent weekend of art, music, fellowship and friendship.
On Sunday afternoon I took the opportunity of a beautiful afternoon to walk to Jim’s house at 312 Toner Street. This is where Jim moved to in 1976 upon his “retirement” from New York City. The house has been vacant since Jim’s passing in 2000. It is for sale. Unfortunately, it is continuing to decay. I made a few photographs of what was Jim’s grandmother’s house before he moved in.
Upon Jim’s passing, over 2,500 works of art were found in his house and the shed in his backyard. Jim used to spend many hours on his porch with friends, which was also full of his art, from floor to ceiling. The extra large antenna attached to the house was put up by Jim so that he could access radio and television from Chicago, keeping a connection to a cultural center. But, he made the comment that the jazz radio station in Chicago thought jazz ended with Stan Getz, Gerry Mulligan and Dave Brubeck, which did not satisfy his thirst for contemporary and free jazz. An interesting nuance about the house, it’s obvious Jim made the house number that is still above the front door.