Custer’s Last Artist… “I’ve seen Rembrandts, Van Goghs and Picassos up close and personal but I never saw anything like this.”

It was early Friday afternoon and I had just finished up a successful brand marketing meeting with First National Bank in Buffalo, Wyoming.

Now it was time once again, to play my favorite Wyoming driving game,“Count the Antelope,” as I headed north up I-90 on my way to Montana.

I had two full weeks of appointments scheduled in Montana. I was looking forward to it. I’ve always loved Montana.

A couple of hours into the drive I decided to stop for some coffee at the Custer Battle Field gift shop/restaurant on the Crow Indian Reservation outside of Hardin.

As I walked in the door I noticed a fellow about my age hard at work putting the finishing touches on an oil painting. I was intrigued as it is not something you expect to see on a coffee break. So, I walked closer to take a better look.

When I saw the image on his canvas I just froze. I was speechless and for me speechless is not an every day occurrence. My eyes were riveted to the canvas where he had depicted a more life like than life image of a Viet Nam Vet visiting the Viet Nam Memorial in Washington. In the painting the Vet was kneeling beside the memorial with his head down and his right arm out stretched with his finger touching the name of a fallen friend. On the other side of the memorial out of the line of sight of the vet you could see this ethereal yet somehow realistic image of the fallen friend in camouflage extending his hand out to the vet reaching through the monument with his finger touching the finger of the vet in a gesture which seemed to say, “I’m OK. It’s you I’m worried about. Find some Peace, my brother.”

Now, I’ve been in and out of some big time art galleries and art museums over the years. I’ve seen Rembrandts, Van Goghs and Picassos up close and personal but I never saw anything like this. That image and the moment I first saw it will remain with me forever.

In my twelve years working my way across America there were many unforgettable moments, breathtaking panoramic views and good hearted people I wish I would have had the time to get to know better. America is a beautiful place.

Gary Michaels is the Founder/Executive Producer of MTI Studios and Gary Michaels Online. Since entering the Brand Syndication field in 1980 he has produced Syndicated Branding Campaigns for over 5,000 local and regional advertisers throughout the US, Canada,New Zealand and Australia. (Photo by Thinkstock)

Our work is national quality. Our clients are local advertisers.

© 2011 Gary Michaels Online Corp



About garymichaelsonline

Los Angeles Music & Brand Syndication Producer. Founder of MTI Studios and Gary Michaels Online.Studied Music Composition at the University of North Texas. Worked as staff Music Arranger/Composer at Columbia Screen Gems Music Publishing. Worked as jingle writer and producer with Rod McBrien Productions in New York.
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