Art from A to Z!
This is an early photo of my dad, Zeke Ziner. He passed away many years ago, leaving us all a legacy of beautiful artwork and wonderful memories.
You can see his work at the site maintained by my brother, Joe Ziner:
Here is the part of the piece I wrote at the memorial service for my father; eventually I will be posting the video of that service. For now, this is the text I read.
Part II - Eulogy for Zeke
This memorial is for both my parents. I love that they both started life as Florence and Bernard, and they turned into Feenie and Zeke. They were alchemists of the stuff of life.
It is hard to find words that describe our dad. He was not talkative, but he spoke with thoughtfulness and deliberation, a dry sense of humor, and often with an eye towards teaching something with his words. It was a magnetic trait he had that drew people to him as often as they were drawn to Mom's outgoing personality. We had a phrase for it that Dad found a bit embarrassing, we called it “The Zeke Mystique.”
He adored Mom for all the decades they were married. They were so much a part of each other.
They came as close to two people being in love their whole married life as I ever heard of. They were always giving each other a hug. Just standing in the kitchen, out of the blue, Mom would turn to Dad and say, "Hiya Zeke!" He'd smile, and say "Hiya Feen!" They would grin at each other with a goofy kind of smile, Just checking in. They enjoyed being with each other so much.
Zeke was an amazing teacher. I find his instructions, in his voice, echoing in my head when I take apart a pruning shears, clean and oil them for spring, mop a floor, paint a windowsill, tuck point a brick wall, draw with a crow quill pen and ink. Did you know that the way you make a new crow quill pen point work the first time is that you stick it in a lemon for 5 minutes to remove the varnish on the steel? You would be amazed how often these arcane skills come in handy. Dad taught me these things, and 1000 other things, sometimes with words, but more often with the quiet grace of a master craftsman.
Gracious is a word that comes to mind when I think of Dad. He was a gracious host to the throngs of people always in the houses Mom and Dad lived in. No one was ever turned away from a hot cup of coffee, or a seat at the table. He was never patronizing to anyone, he was charitable and kind in the most genuine way. A guest always left the house feeling that they were especially appreciated. He was gracious about sharing his knowledge, his art, his food and lodging, and his stories with friends and travelers. We teased him about his love of solitude and the refuge of the basement workshop or his upstairs studio, but recognized that like all creative people, he needed to recharge. Some of us kids may have inherited that trait, just a leedle tiny bit!
He dressed modestly, and he liked a well-made suit and tie (preferably navy), a pair of black Cordovan lace-up shoes. "It's going to come back in style, you wait!" And by golly it did. He was one of the real Mad Men, those dashingly handsome guys from the 1950s ad agency. He could totally rock out a crisp white shirt, dark suit and a tie. His favorite casual thing to wear was a Viyella shirt in Black Watch plaid. He could keep that thing going for 20 years, sewing the elbow patches on himself.
Zeke and Feenie were each other's best friends and supporters. They had each other's numbers, though. One day Dad came upon Mom in her writing room sighing over a sheet of paper. Sniffling. Tears running down her face. She looked up, and thinking he would be worried by the tears, said, "Oh honey, I'm okay, really", and he smiled and said to her brightly, "Something you wrote yourself?" That was one of their favorite stories, and they would laugh hilariously at it, both of them. That's how I will remember them. So happy just to be together.
They had a gift for appreciating life. They gave it to us. Let's pass it on.
All of the writing and images you see on this site are © Amie Ziner, unless otherwise marked, and may not be reproduced in any format, digital or physical, without explicit written permission. Artists have a hard enough time in this world trying to put a genuine unique product out there without someone stealing their intellectual property.!
Just ask me, I'm reasonable.
Copyright 2015 Amie Ziner. All rights reserved.