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Fathers (and sons)


Howard would be too modest to tell you about his immediate family–his father, for example. So let me say a few words about Warren Tabor, who died in 1995.


Warren James Tabor [1917-1995] managed the local power company; a progressive sort who involved the corporation in various community projects. In 1990, for example (five years before he died), Tabor negotiated purchase of the old interurban depot as the power company headquarters and an important step in downtown revitalization. Yet he was a skittish, shy man who avoided photographers and any sort of limelight. So imagine Tabor, wife, and friends on a hot evening at the Fennimore County Fair circa 1980. How did they get him to hold still long enough for an unrecorded artist to do this quick portrait sketch?

Measuring about nine by six inches, this was sketched on a thick piece of cardboard in about twenty minutes. Having your portrait done is creepy, as the painter, friends and passers-by stop to stare at the artistic progress; the subject remains ignorant of what’s going on until the work is nearly complete. Tabor must not have liked it, because the painting remained hidden at home until after his death. Only then did it find its way into the Memorial Gallery in the old public library building, where it has hung discretely for the past fifteen years. Warren wouldn’t approve.

If you’d like to see this and other works in the Memorial Gallery collection, about forty pieces will be shown in the next Agincourt exhibit—Homecoming/Coming Home—in October 2012. Or if you just can’t wait until then, pester me and I’ll let you have a peak.

By the way, Howard doesn’t look a lot like his dad, favoring the Tennant side of the family instead. 

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