Tag Archives: fame

love, fame, money–the max tam dilemma and f2fb friend #172 kristen jasinski

fame is a great motivator.  no less a philosopher than f2fb friend #45 max tam, when offered by me a choice of love, fame or money, opined that he desired fame first, because the money would follow and, well, the women would make a hasty entrance.

sometimes people are enormously famous in their lifetimes and then fall into obscurity.  i think of the duchess of newcastle, a greatly popular writer whose works nobody could now name (okay, okay, send me an email with three of her works and i’ll buy you a beer!).  there’s girolamo savonarola who singlehandedly changed western europe in 1500 and then poof!  it’s as if he never existed.  and then there are those people who aren’t widely known in their lifetimes but come to represent an age–emily dickinson would be surprised that she is now famous.

greta kempton was famous in her lifetime as a celebrated portraitist.  she was commissioned to do the official portrait of president harry truman, the first female artist to be so honored.

harry truman's portrait by greta kempton

but then greta passed on.  many of her works were bequethed to the harry truman library and that’s where my f2fb friend #172 kristen jasinski comes in.  she and her husband wesley bought the bulk of the collection.  their house is full of greta’s paintings:

kristen and wesley believe so much in the value of greta’s work that they have formed a foundation and a website — gretakempton.org — to preserve and enhance her stature as “america’s da vinci”.  kristen is a docent for the organization.  as she took me on a tour of the house, i noticed this greta kempton self-portrait on the artist’s palette:

with a champion such as f2fb friend kristen jasinski, greta will become once again a famous painter.   so kristen is a good friend to me and a good friend to greta kempton!

the meeks shall inherit . . . nashville

as talking head maximilian tam (f2fb #45) says “fame first, money will come, and the women will follow”. . . in the case of the meeks of kearney, missouri they are doing everything they can to elude fame.

matt (f2fb #135) and connie (f2fb #136) met while performing in a country music variety show in st. joseph, missouri more than a dozen years ago.  nashville called them because nashville has one currency–talent.  the meeks packed up, anxious to be stars–and that’s when they found out they were pregnant with their first child.

there are a lot of choices they could have made.  ones that would have resulted in their pictures on the cover of people magazine and their stories on tmz.com.  but they literally turned the car around on i-435 and picked a place to raise a child.

“we didn’t want to bring a child into the world of touring,”  connie explained.

they chose kearney.  or maybe kearney chose them.  and while here, their faith has deepened.  matt, who had turned away from the church, was baptized only a few years ago.  they are in the music ministry of the kearney covenant church.  i remember being at a service more than two years ago when they presented a song they had written.  i asked them to play it for me again.

i am convinced this song will be a hit on the christian music scene.  and then they had better get themselves a mansion with a pool and invite me over.

“but we don’t want to be famous,”  connie said as she and matt scooted off into the night.

“fame will find you,”  i said.