In Memory of Dean Fawcett (We Love You), 2001
Oil, duct tape, wax on canvas
48 x 24 in.
I met Dean Fawcett in primary school standing next to him in the milk line. He was a filthy uncared for kid who popped the perfect pink Bubble Yum bubble I was blowing. I punched him in the gut and his first grade self buckled with an “Oomph!” My guilt overwhelmed me and I picked him up and we became friends.
Like an abandoned dog looking for scraps or for anyone who will pay attention to him, Dean often wandered into our neighborhood unannounced looking for the same.
Every once in awhile we would let him play in our games, but many times I told my mom to say that I was unavailable as I hid behind the front door and fed lines to her.
Dean was never a play partner priority. We did things with him when we had nothing to do.
On a summer break from college I ran into Dean at a local pantry store. After catching up on the years we’ve missed, I paid for my things and left. He followed me like he had years ago, still looking for scraps. I cut him short, “I’m busy Dean.” He instantly jerked back like the dog who has been tirelessly rejected of the warmth he is searching for. I exited the parking lot in my used BMW 528e.
A year and a half later with my family gathered around the TV watching the local news, we learned that Dean Fawcett was beheaded by a group of friends. I am sure he was looking for more warmth… and love.
I will never, ever forget that I could’ve have given it to him.
ADDITIONAL INFO - After I moved from my birthplace of Chicago to California to start a new life, I realized I had strong residual feelings to work through. One of the foremost thoughts was my relationship with Dean. Within seconds, I had the mental image of this painting which I promptly had put down on paper. Almost immediately, I started sobbing uncontrollably.
I went to my bedroom and laid down. I turned on the lamp next to my bed. Within seconds the overhead bedroom light starting making a high pitched noise like the filament was sparking. I thought this was highly unusual since the light was off and has not been on since yesterday.
The pinging was persistent. In my mind, this now started to feel like communication. And immediately all the hairs on my body stood on end! I said out loud, "Dean if this is you, please stop. You are scaring me." I then felt a 'warm' feeling, like someone smiling at me. It felt like Dean. For sure. He was letting me know everything is ok and I did the best I could. He was in a good place.
As the sky is blue and the sun rises everyday, I was confident in the message's purity. And the doorway to the other side that now opened before me.
2ND UPDATE - Robert Faraci was acquitted in 1995. Paul Modrowski remains convicted and incarcerated at the maximum security Stateville Correctional Center in Crest Hill, IL.
Dean's murder was featured on Dead of Winter TV show which aired in 2019.