Here is my friend Vincie in my living room, holding a Bodhi Wind original portrait painted in 1965, She had just picked it up from the framer’s where Jennifer Panza had helped her select the frame and matting. Vincie brought it in and we unwrapped it so I could admire the framed portrait. I’d gone with her to help get it framed, weeks ago.
It’s a really good story.
Five years ago last April, I posted about the Extraordinary Art of Bodhi Wind
In that post I wrote about my friend Steve reading an article in the Pittsburgh Post Gazette by Joe Smydo about what to do with the artwork of an artist who had passed away. When he read the article, he kept asking me if my friend Vincie knew Bodhi Wind since he’d graduated from her alma mater, Perry High School. After a couple of weeks of him asking if I had checked with Vincie if she knew Bodhi Wind, I finally remembered to ask her. “Vincie, Steve has been on my case to ask you if you knew a Bodhi Wind who graduated from Perry High School who was an actor in LA”.
Steve had mentioned the murals Bodhi Wind painted for the Robert Altman film 3 Women No, she didn’t know him.
(Here is a NYTimes article about The Man Who Painted Robert Altman’s 3 Women by Jennifer Dunning. )
So a few days later the three of us are in the car and it comes up again.
Steve is determined. Asks Vincie himself. Turns out I messed up by asking about an actor when I should have inquired about an artist.
When we got home, Steve got on the computer upstairs and called Vincie to come and read the article. And there was the missing clue. Bodhi Wind had changed his name. For more information it said to contact his mother Mrs. Kuklis. Vincie said, yes, she knew him. Yes, Vincie and Charles (Chip) Kuklis not only went to High School at Perry together but they were classmates in elementary school. Steve was insistent that she must have known him and not only did she know him but they were very good friends in elementary school, too.
This past August, Vincie and her friend Maribeth were attending their 50th Perry High School Reunion. Over the reunion weekend, the two of them went to visit Mrs. Kuklis at her home. Her granddaughter helped show them her Uncle’s artwork but before they looked at the work, they sat in the living room. Vincie said that Chip had painted her portrait when they were in high school. Mrs. Kuklis said “I have it.”
Not only did his mother have the portrait he painted of Vincie in high school, Mrs. Kuklis had set in out on a special chair for Vincie to see, and Mrs. Kuklis asked Vincie if she would like to have it. Oh my!
What a gift!
Vince wth the original portrait of herself, painted by her childhood friend- Bodhi Wind/Chip Kuklis. You can see his signature and the date 1965