Friday, November 1, 2019

Father Cyr at Tanglewood concert 1972

During my art school stay in the arts center at Tanglewood in western Massachusetts, I got to enjoy many outdoor concerts. The audience sits on the Music Meadow in their lawn chairs or on picnic blankets and the musicians are under the "Music Shed." With all these listeners around in various poses, it's a perfect opportunity to sketch them. This Catholic priest in full uniform didn't have a lawn chair but sat directly on the ground. He's holding a rolled-up concert program. As a religious quester I asked him who he was and he wrote down his name and address on my drawing. He was Father William Cyr, presiding over St. Peter's church  in Great Barrington, Massachusetts, a place not far from Tanglewood.

Believe it or not, at least up to 2016, Father Cyr is still alive and active, as this article shows him to be. He is elderly but he seems to be well-preserved. Unfortunately his churches have been plagued by the same scandals and awfulness of the Catholic Church in the late 20th century (without him being guilty of it, I hope) and his congregations are dwindling and his churches are falling apart. I wonder if he would remember this random sketch, forty-seven years ago.

Pencil on sketchbook page, 5" x 6", summer 1972. 

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