What would have happened if...

This is a week in the world when dreams were dashed, potential was wiped out, and misery was heaped upon hundreds of families, not just in Paris but in other parts of the world where innocent people died.  Though death comes for us all - "even for kings he comes.  To whom amidst all their royalty and brute strength he will neither kneel nor make reverence" (Sir Thomas More, A Man For All Seasons, Robert Bolt) - it is extra shocking when it happens at the drop of a dime.

Years from now, surviving family members, spouses, and friends will wonder what would have happened if that tragic event had not happened.  What would that friend, colleague, lover, brother have gone on to become or do?

Friends of one of my portrait subjects went back to a tragic night in 1990 when a car went out of control and took several lives.  At the time, it seemed surreal; it still seems surreal 25 years later.  I painted Robbie Hutton earlier this week as a gift to his sister.   Many close friends and family members are remembering and wondering.  What would have happened if things had turned out differently.

I knew Robbie, but I didn't know him well.  His mom and my mom were close friends when I was young and we would often play together as little tykes.  I remember him as being incredibly friendly with a smile that could (and would) light up a room.  His close friends, his best friends, remember him in deeper more profound ways.

I'm glad that a painting has sparked conversations, memories and feelings about a young fellow who left us a quarter century ago.


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