My Values and Social Work

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James Billock
Who Will Help Maggy?
MAGGY was painted by Harvey Dinnerstein in 1985. Coincidently, that was the same year I joined the Army. Initially the painting appeared to be just a simple and unassuming portrait. Except for the flowers, there was not much color and it was rather muted and mostly dark. There was no real background to speak of, just a single vanishing line that merely allowed the viewer to differentiate between the floor and the blank wall behind her. In short, it was merely a life-size portrait of a lone woman standing, while holding an oversized bag that had a small bunch of flowers peeking out. This was all I saw as I passed by the painting, until I looked at her face. It was her face that made me stop. I had not planned on stopping; after all I had already found the painting I wanted to write about, The Rail Splitter. That one was a subtle yet powerful portrait of a beloved president and it would be easy enough to write about. All I was doing now was simply ruling out all the other paintings. That was until I saw her face. It wasn’t a particularly pretty face, not to say she was homely by any means, but more so to say it was not any physical attribute or attractiveness that caught my eye. Her face had a hauntingly hollow expression that was all too familiar, and although strong and lean, it had such an incredible heaviness to it. It seemed even holding it up had become beyond her ability anymore. It just seemed to hang down and list to her left. In fact her entire body seemed to wilt on the left. Maybe it was just because the bag she carried in her left hand was so heavy. It wasn’t your typical ladies carrying bag; it was green, Olive Drab Green to be exact, made of a heavy-duty material with reinforced stitching. It had a sturdy strap and leather patches strengthening its brass fasteners. There was no mistaking it for anything other than Government Issue. This made it even more unusual that the only thing projecting...
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