Until his unexpected death at the ripe old age of 86, Lennie painted everyday. Many call themselves artists, but Lennie approached everything in his life as a work of art. If you asked him a question about a Modigliani painting, he would go on to tell you not only what year Modigliani painted it, but when he was born, died, and the amount received for the last painting sold. If Lennie heard Django Rinehardt play, he would tell you about the gypsy caravan fire that cost him two of his fingers, the year the song was recorded, and whoever he collaborated with on that production.
A professor of art, a lover of jazz, Lennie's energy usually tripled everyone around him. His house was a tomb of old cutouts from magazines, countless books on any subject imaginable, old 78's, and anything he held onto for artist inspiration for the past who-knows-how-long. He only had a landline phone without an answering machine and never owned a computer. Even without seemingly necessary technology, he was well-connected around Gainesville and maintained friendships throughout the world. Among the stacks of paper in his house were letters dating back from his days in World War II and correspondences with artists he admired. I knew Lennie for 25 years - he's my dad.
Please visit www.lenniekesl.com.