Farewell by Glenn Whitehead / by Glenn Whitehead


There can never be too many good dogs. Remember that.  

I was born in Houston in 1940.  Is that important?  The thing is I was on the planet for a while.  Some of you knew me.

It is fair to say that I was a creative person: drawing, painting, writing, and photographing.  Asleep, I was a wildly creative dreamer. 

I never traveled.  Never wanted to.  My observable life was dull and timid, but always, I enjoyed a rich inner-life. 

I never met an artist more valuable than a good plumber.

In my early 20s, I lived in Manhattan.  I spent most of my free time in museums, concert halls, libraries, and evening and weekend art and writing classes.  For about four years, I made less than $60 a week.  I did not know I was poor.  To the contrary, I thought I was rich.  Too shy to make friends, I was always alone, but I do not remember ever feeling lonely or sad.  In so far as I am an educated person, I educated myself in New York.  

I loved the absurd. That explains why my one splash was as the first cartoon artist who popularized the armadillo, a creature  I found amusing, even ridiculous, one which, to my surprise, became a potent symbol for Texas. 

Many people said I was smart, but no one ever accused me of being wise.  

With my friends, I was too often difficult, negligent, depressed, drunk, selfish and self-absorbed.  (A complete list of my failings available upon request.)  I am sorry.  Now that I am gone, some of them may forgive me, but then since I am gone, what does it matter?  Dead is dead.   Like W. C. Fields, if I had my life to live over, I would live it over a saloon.  I am survived by dear Wanda and about 30 or 40 other close friends.  

And I want no squabbling.  

Bill Helmer wrote of me, “He was the man who invented despair.”  How awful.  In truth, there was nothing that ever warranted despair.  In truth, I loved being alive on this beautiful planet.  I  loved seeing, hearing, touching and tasting.  I had enough friends, enough time.  As Rumi asked of us, What more could I have possibly wished for?

When I died, I was pissed off at no one. 

No funeral, no burial, but if you act quickly, free ashes.  

Glenn Whitehead 

Defunct Artist

Smithville, Texas