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Roderick W. Slater 1937 - 2019

Roderick W. Slater

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September 16, 2019
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September 16, 2019
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July 26, 2019
ROD

He just smiled, looking at me, a bit sideways, his eyes piercing, but searching, urging me to search. That was in the fall of 1978 at the Atlanta outdoor arts festival. I had been drawn in and captured by Prophesy and ultimately asked what does it mean?. He just smiled.a bit of a grin, really.

Thirty years later, in Philadelphia a few blocks from Independence Hall, a knock at our door: Rod. The next few days would be different than I had planned. Over the years, a knock at the door: Rod. Searching. His. Mine. Listening, but more. Respecting. Drawing out. Challenging. Listening powerfully.

One warm fall evening on the front porch of a 1920s bungalow in Atlanta I watched Rod work. Or, more accurately, gazed while conversing undulated and the piece, the object, came into being assembled by apparent slight-of-hand from an array of disparate flotsam previously pulled from the unknown depths of his rusty blue van. It wasnt; then it was.

Watching Rod singe the edge of a tissue paper square with a glowing cigarette.

Driving in upstate NY with Linda. Yup, there they are: Slater clouds. And, I am transported meteorologically, metaphysically, mystically to a rectilinear world of theme and endless variation and repetition, windows and doors, looking, revealing, hiding, itching.

Evening. My HiFi transmuting tiny vinyl furrows to mechanical vibrations to electrical oscillations to pulsing air, our ears and neurons reciprocating: Mahlers Second - The Resurrection My friend David: Thats just like your (Rods) painting. Prophesy From a distance a simple flat geometry: a vertical black rectangle punctuated by an gray-white disk and a mottled white vertical line, the two rotating about an unseen pivot balanced tip-toe above an olive colored bottom band. Closer, closer, the band emerges, resolves into a bucolic landscape, the bright line, daytime splitting night, lumpy clouds on light blue with tiny green fields below; the disc, floating in the black night sky reveals a geodesic-like moon hovering above the sleeping wakeful fecund countryside. But, closer, closer, the pentimento of faces emerge, constellations, some distinct, some dim, some flickering Tam o Shanter like. Just like Rod.
July 26, 2019
Valerie I am so sad to hear about your father's passing.. we were all so proud of him and his artwork.. it was wonderful to have seen him at our class reunion..
Bless you for sharing this information with us. Sincerely Carol Ashmun Taylor class of 55.
July 08, 2019
To all of those who knew and loved Rod, I offer my deepest condolences. I am who I am today because I met him. I was forever changed for the better. I am quite sure he had that effect on near everyone who knew him. Rod, thank you for everything and rest my man. For you the first day and the last:
...O Captain! my Captain! rise up and hear the bells;
Rise upfor you the flag is flungfor you the bugle trills,
For you bouquets and ribbon'd wreathsfor you the shores a-crowding,
For you they call, the swaying mass, their eager faces turning... -Walt Whitman
July 07, 2019
To Valerie, our condolences to you and family. I pray that you find comfort in the days ahead, with love, Ernestine and Ishama.
July 07, 2019
Dear Pat,

Just wanted to let you know that I am thinking of you and Valerie today. May the memories of Rod bring you comfort and the love of family surround you during this time of sorrow.

With prayers,
Dina Blanchard-O'Gara
July 07, 2019
Valerie and Pat, Sorry to hear about Rod. You and your family are in my thoughts and prayers. Boots
July 07, 2019
I never knew Mr. Slater, but fell in love with him after reading his obituary in the Kennebec Journal a newspaper in central Maine. Thank you for letting us know this remarkable man.

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