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#12 The Story of the Fish


During online shows, I sometimes offer viewers the opportunity to purchase exclusives like "personalized doodles" to support independent music. During my last web show, a "fish" was requested and today I shipped him off to Greenland. My grandfather was an artist. I once asked him if he remembered when he realized how much he loved art, and he told me that as a boy in pre-war Poland, he studied at a little schoolhouse and his teacher once asked him if he'd like to draw something on the board. He drew a fish. I've always remembered that story and felt my grandfather was actually very much like a fish throughout his life in the ways that he was able to navigate through dangerous circumstances, uncertain times, and adjust so fluidly and gracefully to change, like a fish gliding through water. He was an incredible creative, a painter, a "master finagler", and had a magic about him that everyone seemed drawn to. When he was 17, the Nazis abducted and killed his family and he was lucky to survive four concentration camps before he was liberated in 1945. During the filming of Schindler's List in the early 90's, Steven Spielberg chose my grandfather to tell his story for his official holocaust testimonies documentaries series. (My grandfather's personal accounts are now publicly available in documentary form via the official holocaust archives online and in various museums.) When he was diagnosed with cancer in 2012, I sat watching him in his final moments and thought of the little boy in the schoolhouse, how far he'd come, and imagined how proud his parents would be if they could see their little boy and everything he'd achieved throughout his life. The fish will always be special to me for this reason. Never before have I shared its meaning. Thank you kind person, a Pisces like my grandfather and myself, for requesting I draw this fish. It has been a beautiful reminder of the little artist in the schoolhouse.

Remember Zelig Preis 1924-2013

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© 2018 by SAMANTHA PREIS. All Rights Reserved.