The M.A.D. House Artists (Mom And Dad)
John Tracy Ringland
Mr. Ringland is a world traveler, and he didn't wait to begin. In High school John went to Honduras for an exchange and to Thailand for a year with the American Field Service. The Black and white photo is in Thailand, the color photo is (ahem) some years later, in the United States. The tiny flower was sent in an Aerogram. He even managed to send Mom flowers from Thailand. There was a price to pay for all that traveling, in resistant strains of exotic bugs...
And every time the group of friends got together during college, too.
This is what John was doing in class instead of the classwork at Westchester High School in 1972-73...
Fortunately for everyone concerned, American Field Service scooped him up and sent him to Thailand before things got any worse. These Aerograms are a small sampling of the more than 150 exchanged with Mom over the course of his year in Thailand.
The acquisition of water color pencils was a big improvement on an already well developed talent.
Here is a rare aerogram printed on the paper and cut straight so that it was possible to fold it and seal it without anxiety. (Hence the New Improved moniker.) The number of crooked aerograms was forever a source of irritation to the artist.
There is no way to convey how much Mom came to rely on these missiles for her peace of mind at college. She and Johnny reflected on philosophy and religion, interpersonal relations, language, art and everything. Inside each of these tri-fold single-sheet letters is about ten pages of finely written text, microscope worthy. No wonder mom is wearing tri-focals now...
There is one of these in our house still. The original one that John brought from Thailand in 1973 was left in New Jersey in an hasty move years later in June of 1987, but as soon as another was located it was installed. In fact, there are two now.