"The Gal I Used to Know"
(Painting by: Cara Sherman-Tereno)
You may have noticed a link down towards the bottom of the LINK list (to your right) called Tribute to Cara, and perhaps you have wondered why it's there?
Well, way back in 1969, when I was buying a lot of fanzines, I was trying to put together a art folio collection of various good fan artists, called New Dawn. In one such fanzine I bought there was an ad placed by Cara where she was selling her artwork. I took one look at the sample and thought, ""Hey! This is GOOD!", and promptly wrote her a letter requesting prices.
She asked me what sort of artwork I was interested in, and I remember saying something to the affect of "just let your mind go free", and a few weeks later not only did I get the piece of great artwork I had paid for, but several freebie pieces as well! Writing back-and-forth for a while, Cara and I became very good friends, swapping our artwork and ideas, and just writing page after page of page of personal ramblings. And, I did eventually publish that fanzine years later (15 years later, actually!), but I renamed it: Upperground, and Cara's art was in it, along with a couple dozen other well-known and upcoming folk like Bob Burden, Don Rosa, Peter Laird, Randy Enos, Milton Knight,Mark Bode',Lori Walls,and several other names I'm sure you'd recognize.
Cara and I carried on our correspondence for many years. When she got married, she even named me the Godfather for her daughter, Hillary, for which I felt greatly honored.
Cara was a very independent person, somewhat of a feminist and pretty much a devoted Zionist. Her interests surpassed merely artwork and writing and she was well-educated. Her letters were always uplifting, caring and humorous. Her paintings were excellant. We "swapped" paintings one time (the above pictured of the Vulcan woman). That painting she sent me has always had an honored place somewhere in every house or apartment that I've ever lived in since I obtained it 30 years ago.
Cara published a fanzine called Romulan Wine which was basically dedicate to Star Trek, of which she (and I as well) were big fans. In those pages was the first time my little character( that has always been identified with me), Elmo Jenkins first appeared ! (Yep! That's the guy this blog page is named after!). We even collaborated on a comic strip that was published in two issues. She had asked me if I was interested in writing and penciling a strip, and she'd revise and ink it, and we wanted something in the Star Trek fashion. I wrote a story about Ancient Vulcan, the main character of which was a chieftain named Mort III. Cara loved it, but was afraid that Gene Roddenberry might not approve, so she wrote him several times, and eventually, he did indeed approve of the script and even gave his blessing, making it an authorized part of Vulcan History. She published it in two-parts in her fanzine, and, to my knowledge, it was the first time anything in comic strip format referring to Ancient Vulcan was ever published. The one precedent we set in the storyline? The sun on Vulcan rose from the West.
But... even close friends drift apart...
I had noticed her credits in The Joe Kubert Catalog (she was a graduate of The Joe Kubert School of Art), but it wasn't until the 1980's that I did indeed re-contact her when she did a few fill-in issues of DC's Arion, Lord of Atlantis. We quickly re-newed our friendship...but then, I don't know, I just didn't hear from her anymore.
I heard news of her presence; that she was in various APA groups, doing partial work for various independent titles (like, The American, but for years I wondered what exactly she'd been up to.
So a few years back I thought that since I had access to a world of information via The Net, why not type her name into it and see what came up? Sadly...what did come up was a Tribute to her. Cara had died in 1996 of leukemia, at age 44.
So, I want to dedicate this blog today to her memory. And I just want to remind everyone, to never lose track of a dear, old friend. They are truely rare, and the memories you share about them are very precious.