An Indiana Math Teacher’s Homage to Edward Gorey

John’s friend Karen, a multi-talented northwest Indiana math teacher — high school by day, university-level math by night, loves Edward Gorey’s art so much, that she created Gorey-esque garden decorations. 
A few years ago, Karen, never one for less-is-more, decided to make Gorey-inspired Halloween decorations. The results, at left, are life-size Gorey-inspired figures, gorgeous, inspiring, sought-after, appreciated, that she puts up in her gardens and her yards, for any celebratory occasions.
Karen drew life-size figures on 3/4 inch plywood, cut them out with a jigsaw herself, and then painted them with acrylic paints, covered with water-resistant enamel.  Both sides are painted; they are held up, with ordinary garden stakes. Karen is skilled at dry wall, plumbing, and carpentry.  Karen even designed and built a fireplace mantel and wainscoting for her dining room!
John describes Chicago born and raised Gorey, who died in 2000, as an artist who did bizarre drawings of Victorian and Edwardian people in luxurious if decaying settings like drawing rooms, where children might be swallowed up by elaborately stuffed settees or potted ferns, that sort of thing.  His drawings are generally part sinister and part charming drawings, that depict worlds of afternoon tea and formal occasions among aristocratic and aloof people. Gorey’s children’s books were my son’s favorite, even though, it is widely known, that Gorey disliked children.
John’s in the photo at top left… The Gorey figures are kind of Tim Burton-ish, no?


About John

About John John Bolinger was born and raised in Northwest Indiana, where he attended Ball State University and Purdue University, receiving his BS and MA from those schools. Then he taught English and French for thirty-five years at Morton High School in Hammond, Indiana before moving to Colorado, where he resided for ten years before moving to Florida. Besides COME SEPTEMBER, Journey of a High School Teacher, John's other books are ALL MY LAZY RIVERS, an Indiana Childhood, and COME ON, FLUFFY, THIS AIN'T NO BALLET, a Novel on Coming of Age, all available on as paperbacks and Kindle books. Alternately funny and touching, COME SEPTEMBER, conveys the story of every high school teacher’s struggle to enlighten both himself and his pupils, encountering along the way, battles with colleagues, administrators, and parents through a parade of characters that include a freshman boy for whom the faculty code name is “Spawn of Satan,” to a senior girl whose water breaks during a pop-quiz over THE LAST OF THE MOHICANS. Through social change and the relentless march of technology, the human element remains constant in the book’s personal, entertaining, and sympathetic portraits of faculty, students, parents, and others. The audience for this book will certainly include school teachers everywhere, teenagers, parents of teens, as well as anyone who appreciates that blend of humor and pathos with which the world of public education is drenched. The drive of the story is the narrator's struggle to become the best teacher he can be. The book is filled with advice for young teachers based upon experience of the writer, advice that will never be found in college methods classes. Another of John's recent books is Mum's the Word: Secrets of a Family. It is the story of his alcoholic father and the family's efforts to deal with or hide the fact. Though a serious treatment of the horrors of alcoholism, the book also entertains in its descriptions of the father during his best times and the humor of the family's attempts to create a façade for the outside world. All John's books are available as paperbacks and Kindle readers on Amazon, and also as paperbacks at Barnes & Noble. John's sixth book is, Growing Old in America: Notes from a Codger was released on June 15, 2014. John’s most recent book is a novel titled Resisting Gravity, A Ghost Story, published the summer of 2018 View all posts by John →
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