I met Bo in the fall of 1995. We were both freshmen at Iowa State University and lived in the same dorm building. His name is Bob, but ever since the first time I met him, it didn't fit for me, so I decided to call him Bo. Bob, I mean, Bob Newhart, Bob Costas - Bo, like bow and arrow or Bo Duke from Duke's of Hazzard, way more fitting to me. (Sorry Bob :( )
Bo always had my back back in the days of Iowa State. He restored my faith in young boys. He was kind, focused, driven, thoughtful, not like all the other boys I met. Most of them concerned with what party they were going to attend over the weekend. Bo and I went to a few Frat parties and we always left saying to each other, "lame." We'd go to these parties with our "dorm friends" and it would usually be him and I that left together, we'd end up at a coffee house before walking back to the dorms.
While making Bo's quilt, so many memories started flooding back. Memories that I will treasure for the rest of my life.
I took an Art101 class, it was drawing. My professor pulled me aside mid semester to tell me that she didn't understand what I was doing in the Art Department. She continued to tell me that I had no skill for perspective, that I was to draw EXACTLY what I saw and I was incapable of doing that. You really should think about changing majors, you are NOT an artist.
I was devastated and I ran to Bo. Poor Bo probably saw me crying more than laughing. The transition from High School to college was a tough one and I wouldn't of made it if I hadn't met a handful of people, and Bo was one of them. I remembered this conversation this weekend because while making Bo's quilt I felt a sense of creativity that I had once felt when I was younger. I was being an artist and I loved every second of the freedom that was running through me.
Tracee bauling: "Bo, you're never going to believe what so and so said to me!"
Bo: "Tracee, are you OK? What did that b***h say this time!?"
Then I told him.
His kind response. "Tracee, you're a free spirit and you draw in your own perspective, not in someone elses, why on earth would you want to do that! You're one of the most creative people I've ever met. I'm not sure why this woman has sought after you, but you can't let her get to you. Make art the way you want to make art, that is utimately what makes you an artist."
And I did just that, never letting this woman see how badly she devasted me. I ended up with a C in that class and a ton of drawings that were drawn in my perspective.
I haven't seen Bo in years, but he will always remain a close friend of mine, regardless of the distance between us.
Here's his quilt top... I'm really excited to quilt this one.
I decided to add one more row to the bottom. I'll do that tonight. I'm loving the negative space in the center, I think the quilting will really make this quilt. It was a sew as you go project, completely free spirited. This is what I'm planning on doing for the quilting.
I hopeful to find some old photographs of us - so stay tuned!
I asked Bo to answer a few questions for me, here are his answers.
1. How do you know me?
I met Tracee when she was Traci. We both started at Iowa State University in the fall of 1995, where we ended up living in the same student housing building. At that time, of course, they were still called “dorms”, and ours was the very special set of “towers” located a short walk from campus. So we were all stuck there in the same boat together.
We met in the study lounge of those dorms. It was the one place in the building that allowed (required, rather) some sense of peace and quiet, and respite from all the madness of youth unleashed into the world. I was in the Architecture program and was probably working on some sort of tedious isometric drawing, and Tracee was likely working on something from her graphics courses. We distracted each other with breaks for coffee and cigarettes. (you can cut that part out.)
We soon became friends, and before long we had our own little gang of “dorm friends.” Great to be back in touch.
The funniest thing you remember about us when we were "together"?
There are tons of funny memories, but they all blend together. As for my favorite memory… I suppose, thinking back about those early college years, it would all of the “deep” conversations. About life, and art, and creativity, and escaping our backgrounds. It’s funny how meaningful a discussion one can have, weighing all the possible meanings behind and embedded in the changing of the spelling of one’s name.
Tell me about yourself and your family:
As for me… I’m an architect and urban designer. I’m American and my family roots are in Iowa, but I was born in Tripoli and spent my childhood in Islamabad. These days I live in Paris with my wife Sarah and our tiny son Henry, who is six weeks old and awesome.
On the Dorothy front... I finished the binding on it yesterday. It was such an awesome day, Ryan was home so we spent the day on the couch with our dogs. McCall's Quilting Magazine is going to put me on the Inspiration page so they want to photograph it before I give it to her. I'll be giving it to her Wednesday. I can't wait.
On the dog front - Lilli decided on Saturday that she was going to sit where Anaheim sits. Let me tell you how NOT COOL that was. Anaheim's an old man and WE ALL know how men get as they get older, very set in their ways and grouchy. He was very happy with me when I moved her, his world got set straight again.
Working on Little Tee's binding tonight and finishing up Bo's top. Hopefully I can us the long arm on Friday again. Cheers!