(199) YMCA:

Edition of 1827 of which 125 copies are signed 1-125, 26 copies are signed A-Z as Artist's Proofs, XX are signed as dedication copies.

No progressives.

April 10, 2003

8 colors 17-3/16 x 24

Client: Berkeley-Albany YMCA

Models: Margaret Ikeda, Evan Jones & Dylan Jones

1-125: Saint Hieronymus Press

Artist's Proofs: Saint Hieronymus Press
Dedication copies: Tati Faye Argue; Jennifer Bing; Larry Bush; Margaret Ikeda, Evan Jones and Dylan Jones; Mercy Wong

In 1933, the bottom of the Depression, my father lived with his dad in a room at the Muscatine, Iowa, YMCA. He finished eighth grade in Jackson Elementary School, and as he remembers it had a great time. He had access to the gymnasium and the swimming pool, and was pretty much on his own. Life high on the hog, as he put it. That time with his dad was one of the very few happy memories my father had of his childhood, which, like many during the Depression, was otherwise one long tale of misery, uncertainty and privation. By lending a helping hand, the Y made it possible for my grandfather to care for his son during hard times. The war came along, and everybody who wanted a job had one, and in September of 1944 my dad married my mom and nine months later, I came into the world--between VE and VJ days, so technically at least I was born during World War Two. My grandfather died in 1983, and my father in 2002, taking with them their memories of a bright happy time together at the Y when the rest of the world was falling apart. People may think of the Y as a place to work out, with its floors of gymnastic equipment and basketball court and swimming pools, but it's a lot more than that. It was founded in 1844 with the idea of uniting spirit, mind and body, and has not lost sight of that elusive, complex goal. The Y builds strong kids, strong families and strong communities, and that was true in 1933 and it's true now.