LITTLE FOOTPRINTS, Don Ealy, oil on canvas, 16 X 20, ©2007
My friend the painter Don Ealy passed away on Sunday. I met Don when I was a pre-teen. He was married to my sister Marcia's best friend, Mary "Babe" (Alward) Ealy, and Don had been close to Marcia's first husband, the painter John Thamm. I recall visiting Don and Babe's place on 7th in Spokane, just North of the downtown area.
I occasionally saw them on infrequent trips to Spirit Lake, where they have lived for the last several decades. Don painted in a little studio behind their house. It was full of canvases and coffee cans half filled with turpentine, a real painter's studio. He loved to paint, and he loved to talk about painting. He was an extremely warm person. Once I ran into him, after not seeing him for many years, at Davidson Galleries where I was showing. He seemed to pick up our conversation where we had last left it, and it was as if I had just seen him the day before.