Thank you for visiting David Bodlak's Memorial Guestbook.
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Today I go to CAFE Guitar...(Classical And Flamenco Enthusiasts of the Guitar). We meet every Friday afternoon. It is a tradition that David founded here in The Quiet Corner of Connecticut. The three guitarists (Tom Terry, Peter Jones and Jim Dina) mention David every time we meet, cherishing his profound influence on them, inspiring them to appreciate and go deep into Flamenco guitar and understand the internationally recognized art form of Flamenco in all of its evolving forms. Other musicians join in. Ashley Jones, for example, brings amazing Flamenco violin improvisations. Here is a video clip I made at one such gathering when David was still alive. At the end of the clip, daughter, Mara, dances.
from Sara Sawyer Bodlak, David's widow [22:47:48| 25/05/2012 | 220.127.116.11]
An amazing inspirational man, artist and musician. A teacher in the true sense of the word. Rip David.I have great memories of you playing
with the other amazing teacher Mr Sutcliffe and imagine you two
playing together in the eternal sunshine. Love to the Bodlak family.
Dani Landau student Eic late 80s. [11:31:32| 01/12/2011 | 18.104.22.168]
I was shocked to hear of David's passing. I took two art history courses with him at MCC and enjoyed each immensely. Upon graduation, I asked him to write me a letter of recommendation to Uconn. He was flattered that I valued his recommendation and wrote me a glowing letter advocating my acceptance. I was accepted to the university and enrolled in the Art History program here. When I'm asked where my interest for Art History came from, I tell them it was due in no small part to Mr. Bodlak's passion for the subject, which he instilled in me. In my long (even prolonged) undergraduate career, I've come to realize how rarely a professor with such gentle wisdom comes along. You will be missed Maestro, thank you for the inspiration.- John Collins [9:36:45| 19/03/2011 | 22.214.171.124]
He never left anybody out of his wondrous romance with music and art, so I guess you'd have to say he never left anybody out of his romance--a passion that inspired and beguiled all who were privileged to know him. As well as he lived, he died with a grace that amazed everybody. Knowing David has made us all better people. I miss the Maestro. Carla Kelly, Luthier. [12:03:48| 02/01/2011 | 126.96.36.199]
I am deeply saddened at recently hearing of the passing of David Bodlak. I was in Mr Bodlak's art class in the EIC, Marbella, when art was a compulsory subject. I remember Mr Bodlak as a very kind and caring teacher who never belittled or embarrassed anyone for lacking talent in art (as I did). Later, he was one of my form tutors in the 6th Form at EIC. He truly was a remarkable man and teacher: artist, guitarist, academic and Hispanist. I remember well the trip to Madrid that he led - his life of art and his astounding and vast knowledge of art as we toured the Prado Museum, his love of Spain and Spanish culture, his wisdom and insights and his humour. My thoughts, prayers and deepest condolences go to Sara, Heather, Mara and all the Bodlak family. May he rest in peace. Rachael Newman. [12:43:46| 16/12/2010 | 188.8.131.52]
He was truly a remarkable man. All who shared his love for art were deeply influenced by his passion, insight and wisdom. Leaving that kind of fire in the folks you meet is greater than leaving them gold. LS [15:18:16| 23/11/2010 | 184.108.40.206]
From Sara,...I continue to get messages from David's students who have not forgotten him. He has made an impact on the lives of many. Here is one I received today which I'd like to share here:
Hi Sara...Just wanted to let you know that I still have been thinking of you...and David. I've been doing a lot of art lately, and the things Maestro would say still pop up in my head...especially his quote "If you are an artist you are already a success". I am so grateful I had the privilege of knowing you both.
Lisa [18:57:36| 19/11/2010 | 220.127.116.11]
Sara and family,
You've heard this already, but I guess it still sums up my thoughts on the life and death of a good friend. We live in space and time, but our unified spirit lives, joyfully, in the eternal present. Good thing, because there's never enough time to be with people you care for.
Fragrant needles fall in the hemlock grove,
there's a breeze too high for me to feel,
Orion reaches up one arm from the East,
and pushed, the night begins to wheel.
and later comes the moon.
Distant Harley Davidson, close up katydids,
the space station rides the Milky Way,
a tide of cricket sound, arising from the ground,
stars sail out across the bay.
later comes the moon.
A freight train sings out its roadway song,
two longs, one short, one long,
some mammal makes a muffled snort nearby,
the sky slides slowly cross the sky.
Much later comes the moon.
later comes the moon.
later comes the moon.
from late August, 2010 George Jacobi
[16:45:11| 19/11/2010 | 18.104.22.168]
Dear David, amigo mío - because of you, I rediscovered my passion for flamenco which began when I was teenager living in Spain but lay undeveloped for over half a century. I will never forget your passion and talent for flamenco, your love and fascination with art, your devotion and love for Sara and your family. Several years ago you declared to our circle of guitar playing friends "I'm going to bring my guitar while Sara is in her art studio on Friday afternoons and play flamenco. If any of you would like to come and play with me, I'd be honored." Jim Dina, Peter Jones, and I started joining you on a regular basis, with occasional visits from others, and these Friday afternoon "Flamenco Jam Sessions" became one of the central parts of my life. I started studying flamenco seriously, listening, learning, growing, and enjoying this marvelous weekly occasion, which by the way continues even though we all miss you every week. I won't claim to be a flamenco, but you, David, were a true flamenco, and I learned so much from you! I have loved our many occasions to visit together, share meals, watch films (including one hilarious evening watching "Balls of Fury", a turkey that provoked endless laughs), and share music. Abrazos como siempre! Teach the angels to dance the Sevillanas! Tom Terry [16:59:51| 15/11/2010 | 22.214.171.124]
Sara, I knew about your art but not much about David's, until I saw the exhibits at Windham Arts and Cafemantic, and I was amazed; I thought of images emerging from rocks or earth-colored clouds. I had once asked him some questions about art, at a Windham Arts opening, and his insights were so appreciated. -Dori
I always wanted to tall with David more. - Bill [0:41:58| 15/11/2010 | 126.96.36.199]
It has been a long time ago, when I met David, and his then young family in Spain, with my two children. David and Sara were great hosts. David introduced us ti his favorite Flamenco and life in southern Spain. We had a wonderful time. Unfortunately our pass never crossed again. I wish there had been another opportunity.
My deepest sympathy and condolences to Sara (Sally) and family.
Stephanie Alexander [3:17:12| 07/11/2010 | 188.8.131.52]
Dear Sara/Sally - I'd only met David once tho' at that time it was evident he was a gentle, loving and much accomplished husband/father to you Mara & Heather. A gentle man. As one of your "3rd" cousins, I truly wish distance had been closer and time more available in allowing a deeper relationship. Tho' I'd known David excelled in so many areas, iit's my perusing this guestbook that I truly see all the gifts he possessed and gave to SO many of whom will store in their hearts, forever. He's teaching the angels now. Johanne Lyon D. Alexander [2:27:25| 07/11/2010 | 184.108.40.206]
David and I have been friends from about 1941 when we were 5 years old in St. Paul,Minnesota. David met my cousins Pat and Mary Lou long first when they all lived on Stryker Avenue. We all used to go on long walks and play in the fields when the breeze would blow the milk pods.
In later years David and I became very close and I remember our long hikes and bike rides. When we were very young he took piano lessons and I used to sit outside the door and listen to him playing. It was such a beautiful sound and even to this day, it is relaxing when I think of it.
He was the first one of us to get a car and I always admired him for that, as I admire him to this day for the many accomplishments he made in life including his education. I love David as the brother I never had, and I miss him very, very much. God bless you David, and God rest your soul. Your life long friend...Jerome (Jerry) Finn [19:37:20| 06/11/2010 | 220.127.116.11]
Roger and I often think of you and David. Our prayers are with you and your family.
Dabney [21:43:28| 05/11/2010 | 18.104.22.168]
David found his joy, his love, his destiny, and his peace in his art, his music, his friends, and his family. What more could anyone ask for. I miss him. But his spirit is with all who knew him. [6:39:42| 05/11/2010 | 22.214.171.124]
Dearest David: When I look into the night sky, I note a newer and brighter star than has ever been "discovered" before. I know it has to be you...who else can shine like you!
I fell in love with you, my dear friend, upon our first meeting. It was always a joy to see you crossing the courtyard to come in for a visit. You taught me so much about art, music...most of all, how to live a good life.
Your love for Sara and your beautiful girls, was palpable. How I loved to hear your stories, filled with great drama and wonderful gestures!
Until we meet again, David...my love goes with you. You added so much to my life. Sue Purdy [17:54:39| 04/11/2010 | 126.96.36.199]
David had a such a gentle way when talking to people, that to respect him became natural. anyone who meet him became his friend. I was happy to be his firend and to had meet him. mi carino por el va par Sara, Mara y Heather, Un abrazo final, .... Pedro
[16:48:58| 04/11/2010 | 188.8.131.52]
With David, a piece of La Herradura has gone. We remember his guitar, his painting, the excellent teacher he was. Most of all, we’ll miss a good friend! Christiane, Veronica, Selma and Pequi Kugel [15:58:25| 04/11/2010 | 184.108.40.206]
We sat next to each other for a once-in-a-lifetime "mystery dinner" at the Meehan's... I will always remember David's metaphor of life as a bullfight and his determination to confront his challenges (or charging bulls) with dignity and valor. Viva el toreador! Delia [13:54:55| 04/11/2010 | 220.127.116.11]
It was such a pleasure to meet, hear and play some classical & flamenco pieces in your presence, David. Our time together was far too short, for I know a kindred spirit when I meet one. My thanks to both you and Sara for letting me join your circle and share you art. - Lou & Deninne Dina [13:41:06| 04/11/2010 | 18.104.22.168]
Thank you David for being my flamenco teacher, and all the extra work you did to help me out. Why aren't you playing your beloved Ramirez in that picture?!
I would like for posterity to quote David's aphorisms on periods of art:
Pre-history "Art is magic"
Greek and Roman Classical "Art is Beauty" I seem to recall he may have had another for Classical Greek architecture "Art is symmetry"
Middle Ages "Art is Magic" (with added didacticism)
Renaissance "Art is ideal beauty"
Baroque "Art is more"
Rococco "Art is pretty"
1750 - 1900 "Art is truth and beauty" (and the "-isms")
Twentieth Century "Art is anything you can get away with"
Another of David's quotes: It is so much easier to write a resume than to craft a spirit.
Thank you David.
Peter and Ann Jones 4th November, 2010 [12:59:27| 04/11/2010 | 22.214.171.124]
David was a terrific human being, artist and mentor. He loved the tapestry of artistic resources on this earth-- and called others to explore the fruits of creativity. I will never forget his antiwar piece of artwork that's attributed to Guernica. Or the songs he played on flamenco guitar.
May God richly bless those souls affected by his absence.
-Hilary Oppermsn [12:54:23| 04/11/2010 | 126.96.36.199]
Art is art, and everything else is everything else. David Bodlak was a teacher of life. His spirit remains with us in Spain, and I am thankful for having known such a man. [12:20:46| 04/11/2010 | 188.8.131.52]
My dear friend, David, you remain alive in my memory and you always will throughout the end of my life. Having known you for 45 years has been a special pleasure. Our days studying art at Claremont Graduate University were rich experiences, especially painting up in the attic of old Bridges Auditorium for endless hours on end and printing in the Scripps College printmaking studios. Your special talent as a painter and an art professor was an important influence that you gave so well to your students who will all remember you fondly with great pride they had the opportunity to study art under your guidance. As our friendship developed, although we were geographically separated on different continents most of the time, we still retained a special bond with each other and your influence on my life was profound. I loved seeing Sara again after so many decades and meeting your entire family in Oakland. That event will always be cherished by me and remain in my memory as a very special day in my life. Save a place for us to get together David. We still have endless topics to discuss and I firmly believe we will meet again. Your longtime friend, Donald E. Smith. [11:38:40| 04/11/2010 | 184.108.40.206]
MCC | News Article
... of Fine Arts; David Bodlak, lecturer in Arts and Humanities; Tim Kussow, associate professor of Fine Arts; Mrs. David Bodlak; Mara Brown, daughter of David Bodlak; and Dr …www.mcc.commnet.edu/newsView.php?newsID=543
…found and added here in David's memory by his widow, Sara [16:53:50| 03/11/2010 | 220.127.116.11]
David was a very special person to me and I've always thought of him fondly.
He was an important influence in my life. I was fortunate to cross his path at a critical time when I was trying to figure out which direction to go. His knowledge and enthusiasm for art was impressive and contagious. He made me believe it was a worthwhile and noble career to pursue and he was so right. I'm so grateful for that.
I'll never forget his lectures on art history. He said he felt like Joe Cocker on stage. It was no small task to get mostly engineering and English students excited about art but he did and I ate it up happily.
I wish I had gotten a chance to talk with him some more and see him again in person but he will always be with me as one of the great "guys"
[5:27:47| 03/11/2010 | 18.104.22.168]
IN THE HEAVENS WE GLANCED AN EMPTY SPACE. WE LOOKED AGAIN ON SEPTEMBER 5TH AND IT WAS FILLED AND WITH THE BRILLIANCE OF DAVIDS SPIRIT.
MAY GOD TEND TO YOUR GRIEF NOW SARA.
SINCERELY, DICK AND PEGGY TANSOM [16:32:23| 31/10/2010 | 22.214.171.124]
IN THE 1950s IT WAS DAVID'S LOVE OF ART, MUSIC, AND THE CORRIDA THAT PROMPTED ME TO LOVE LIFE IN ALL ITS VARIED SHAPES. HE WAS THE ONLY MAN I EVER REALLY CARED FOR, THE ONLY SPIRIT ABLE TO DISPEL MY ESSENTIAL MISANTHROPY. THERE IS LESS LOVE IN THE WORLD NOW. STEPHEN T. DAVIS [21:56:54| 30/10/2010 | 126.96.36.199]
I have loved the ocean for as long as I can remember. One of my favorite things has been to take a stand on the shore as the storm came in until the waves came to my waist, making it clear how small and insignificant I am. A part of everything: at the same time, unique and integral.
I can¹t say exactly how much an influence your painting of the stormy sea was in that need to be by the water, but I remember it for as long as I have been conscious of my self. The juxtaposition of the jagged rocks with the soothing blues, the light coming from above while the skies are heavy and threatening below, created a thrilling tension that always reminds me of being in the storm.
When I was older, my parents gave me that painting. It¹s always hung in a central place in our home, because Jim loves the ocean too. It was only recently, when you and my parents got back in touch, that I heard the story of how this painting was a thank you and an acknowledgement of the impending birth of their second child. The whole idea that you were creating this right before my birth makes it more precious to me, because it is part of the story of my parents¹ life and mine, but also reinforces the idea of continuity, of being part of something unending. It is also precious to me because you are an artist who was my parents¹ friend, and very much in their lives when it was given.
When we were living in Massachusetts, my parents came to visit and told us that they were back in touch with you and your wife, and they were going to visit you. After meeting with you again, then they told me the story about another painting you were going to do for them, and that they wanted to give that experience to me. I regret that we didn¹t have much opportunity to investigate that together. But I was inspired by you again, in another arena. Our conversations had me re-read many of the poems that I hadn¹t read since pursuing my thesis at college. And I learned a bit about you from my parents, and your website.
Your life took you to Spain, where you were moved by the bulls, music and culture. My teachers have shared the language, literature, culture and history with me, and living in Ecuador gave me an exposure to Spanish Colonialism the beauty and the havoc of it. I was moved by the bulls and the bullfights I went to in Quito, when I stood in the history of that country's tradition. My fluency in Spanish has always been fueled by my love if its culture. It seems one of the old novelas written in the 1600s, in which a man is present for the birth of a female child, then leaves on a lifetime journey, and the child¹s life also has certain parallels to his experiences. And their lives touch again, briefly, before she leaves on another path, but not before he again influences her life. Not necessarily profound and mystical, though some would argue it is. More a story full of coincidences and the beauty of the longevity of human relationships, and the effect even a fleeting interaction can have on another¹s life.
And here you are again, sharing your gift with me, and we never met. The painting that you and my parents chose for me is again one of beauty and tension. I am seeing more in it every time I look not only the watery, ephemeral colors and strength of the fish, the dance and synergy of their fight, but a bull, a hawk, an old man¹s face, shaggy brow lifted, in the bottom left corner. Jim and I will be married next month, and while I know that you are on your own journey, I wanted you to know that I wished you could be there at another rite of passage. You would be an honored guest - as strange as it may seem, I feel that you have had a profound impact on my life, and I am very grateful to you for your generosity.
I will mail this to your home, but I will also e-mail this in hopes that you receive it wherever you are in your travels. Thank you, Maestro Bodlak, for your gift as an artist in capturing the passion of our world. Thank you for the very personal gifts you have given to me. Thank you for the contributions you have made to my experience of life.
Con mucho afecto, sigo tambien ³habladora,²
[6:23:25| 30/10/2010 | 188.8.131.52]
from Sara Bodlak---
David, FLAMENCO in all of its forms was so important to you that I want to mention it here. You played the flamenco guitar with enormous sensitivity and expressive feeling. I loved listening to you play and miss it dearly now that you are gone. Friend and fellow aficionada, violinist Ashley Jones shared this message with me that she received from renowned Flamenco Guitarist, VAL RAMOS:
It was indeed a special night at Guakia on June 26 when David joined us, attendingwith Sara and friends, at our concert that night. He was a regular at the Flamenco juergas at Crown Rugs and later at the Monroe store of Said Moadel.
David Bodlak was a true Flamenco aficionado. We shall miss him dearly.
Our deepest sympathy and condolences to David's family and friends.
VAL" [16:51:08| 29/10/2010 | 184.108.40.206]
from Waynette Bailey... Can't pick up a piece of charcoal without thoughts of you Maestro. My next drawing is for you!
[23:54:06| 28/10/2010 | 220.127.116.11]
Mr. Bodlak had a profound influence on me during me late teens. His ability to encourage even the weakest artistic effort has always spoken to me. He was an inspiration and a gentleman, thank you Sir! Julian Raven [14:35:22| 22/10/2010 | 18.104.22.168]
David...In so very many ways, his life enriched the lives of all he touched. We were moved by his profound loves and passions as well as his wonderful sense of humor. I was married to this very special man for 38 years. When I think of David and his noble heart, I find myself thinking about something in a poem by e.e.cummings: "here is the deepest secret nobody knows (here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud and the sky of the sky of a tree called life; which grows higher than the soul can hope or mind can hide) and this is the wonder that's keeping the stars apart... i carry your heart ( i carry it in my heart )." Sally~Sara (David's widow) [18:24:28| 19/10/2010 | 22.214.171.124]
David, you always brought us joy without even trying. We miss your music and your humor.
You have left us great memories. Bullfights in Spain and time at the cafe on the beach and having you
here visiting and blueberry pancakes in the trailer and oh so many more. You are remembered, with love! [5:49:27| 18/10/2010 | 126.96.36.199]
I greatly enjoyed spending time with David last fall. It was clear that he loved Sally (the name I learned to know her by) and his family deeply. [0:45:58| 18/10/2010 | 188.8.131.52]
David was caring and a great listener. He was talented in art, music, and most of all, teaching. A very unique, special and sensitive soul. He'll be missed by all of us. xo sonia [0:24:54| 18/10/2010 | 184.108.40.206]
David was a wonderful man with a great passion for life. I was fortunate to have spent time with him in the place that brought out the best in him: Spain. I'll never forget listening to him talk about the corrida, art and flamenco. My thoughts are with all of you. [23:28:13| 17/10/2010 | 220.127.116.11]
El Abuelo fue un gran pintor, un gran guitarrista, y me enseñó a tocar la guitarra. Me acordare siempre de el. David (su nieto). [11:24:58| 16/10/2010 | 18.104.22.168]
What an incredible man you where! You where so unique and so real. The world needs more men like you. I will always remember you beautiful quotes, wise words and passion for art. I hope that where ever you are you can look down and see what an impression you made on so many people.
You will be very missed
Nicoline [1:49:29| 15/10/2010 | 22.214.171.124]
I miss you, Daddy. Thank you for everything you taught me, what you showed me, leading by example, such a noble and wonderful human being, caring, "detallista", wonderful husband and father. I wish I had taken advantage of every single minute with you better. I love you, I miss you. Te quiero más que nada, as you always would say. xo Heather [16:04:27| 14/10/2010 | 126.96.36.199]