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Published on Jan 24, 2010
When I was about 5-6 years old, growing up in the Bronx, I'd spend lots of time in the basement workshop where my father did his artwork. He painted and worked in mosaic tile and other media. I would play with the tubes of oil paint and read the names of all the colors. I particularly remembered Alizarin Crimson, and the fact that my father used lots of it. When I was 14, my dad, then in his early 60's was showing symptoms of what was then a little known condition -- we all now know it as Alzheimer's. The first thing to go was his creativity. The painting and artwork stopped, as did his heart just a few years later. I kept all of his art supplies, and still have the original tube of Alizarin Crimson, as well as the palette he used, with the paint still dried on it. I knew someday I would write a song to celebrate the legacy of a fine and decent man whose creativity was taken from him at its prime, before I ever really had a chance to know the richness of the person behind the role of "Dad" . It took almost four decades, but "Alizarin Crimson" was written in 2005 and released in 2007 on the "Dare to Dream" CD, along with its companion song "Flickers", about the spiritual and human dimensions of slowly losing one's consciousness, cognizance, and creativity in the incurable darkness of a fading mind. It is an acknowledgement of the dual legacy my father left me -- one of the spiritual richness of creativity, and of the knowledge that I may someday follow him down the dark and dusty corridors of flickering, failing lights. Support Alzheimer's Research. For complete gallery of paintings, visit http://www.billpere.com/Galleries/Pai...