The auction is a cooperative effort between the museum and the Marietta Kiwanis Club as a part of the funding and completion of the statue "Forever Remember" by noted Utah sculptor Dennis Smith.
The statue is dedicated to those who support the heroes that protect and defend us daily, whether they be the men and women in our Armed Forces, law enforcement, firefighters, emergency medical technicians or paramedics. In other words, a salute to and for the brave families behind these brave people.
Frankly, this tribute is long overdue.
I recall riding with a Cobb County police officer several years back who told me that when he said goodbye to his wife as he was leaving for work each day, they both knew it could be the last time they ever saw each other. I remembered thinking then that the families of these people have the hardest job. They have to wait to see if their loved one is coming home at all.
"Forever Remember" will be installed at the corner of Anderson Street and Washington Avenue on July 2 as a part of the annual Fourth of July weekend. Marietta was doing an outstanding Fourth of July salute even before the statue. I can only imagine how good this year's celebration will be. I get goose bumps thinking about it.
Also, I love The Marietta Kiwanis Club. For more years than I can remember, they have invited me to give my annual State of Politics speech and to this point, they have always laughed in the right places. I can't say that about every place I've ever been.
In addition to their well-developed sense of humor, Marietta Kiwanians have a long-standing tradition of undertaking a special project each year selected by the club's president. I asked Victoria Turney, this year's president, why this project?
Ms. Turney, a career Marine gunnery sergeant who was transferred to the area and decided to retire here, wanted to honor the families of those who serve; not as a memorial but as a living tribute to them and one that will be ongoing. She has seen first-hand the sacrifices families have made for our country and still do.
Most importantly, she says she wants people to see "Forever Remember" when they come into Marietta because it will tell them "what kind of community we are."
This isn't a one-time project, either. Funds will not only help to build the statue but will be used to provide scholarships to the families of first responders. And there will be plenty of opportunities to give.
"What a great way to honor a dad on Father's Day," Turney says. I agree.
That is where the Silent Art Auction comes in and I am delighted to be included among the distinguished artists. My contribution is a giclee print, which is a fancy term for a high-quality print of an original painting. In my case, it is my illustration of the dunes on the beaches of Saint Simons Island near Grandma's Beach House, as our grandsons refer to the place.
I've never been asked to be a part of a silent art auction before, so I don't know what the rules are, but between you and me, if I hear that my print sold for a three-figure number, I will come and personally hang the 16-inch by 20-inch framed seascape in your home or office. I will even bring my own hammer. (It's worth three figures just to see me attempting to perform manual labor.)
Either way, I look forward to seeing you next Friday at the Marietta/Cobb Museum of Art. The silent art auction starts at 6 PM and is free to members and a measly $8 bucks for non-members.
Think about it: You will be contributing to a fitting salute to those heroes who "stand and wait." You will meet some nice people, gnaw on some edible munchies, see some fine art available for purchase and say hello to a guy who wonders how in the name of Rembrandt he ever got invited to participate in such a classy affair as this.
I am in tall cotton, indeed.
You can reach Dick Yarbrough at email@example.com or P.O. Box 725373, Atlanta, Georgia 31139.