This painting is very dear to me. In 1970 I gave birth to a child with a birth defect. Although he is a man now, he will
always be at the mental level of an eight-year-old. All these years I have watched him struggle to "fit in" with other people--the
"normal" ones--and I have seen him disappointed and hurt again and again. My wish would be for a society that he could play
a role in, just as the majority of other adults do. Fortunately, in the town of La Crosse, WI, where we have lived for nearly
two years, he is making headway in that direction.
This painting depicts such a society. The original scene took place
in the thirties in a fishing village on a Nordic coast. In this picture one man is special. He, too, was born with a birth
defect. However, in his village he was not treated as a useless appendage or as a charity case. He was put to work. He was
made to feel useful to the fullest extent that was possible. When the guys got together to exchange their stories, he was
a participant in the group--just "One of the Boys." My wish for my son is that some day he will feel as much a useful part
of this society as that man in the picture did. Can you guess which one he is?
One of the Boys ©1990 Dolores Marusarz