Painted by Gleach (Gloria Leach)
(Click on the images above to view larger pictures of each side of the t-shirt.)
Updated Feb 9, 2014: Over the last several years I’ve heard from Gleach’s sister, from John, and from a few of Gleach’s friends. If anyone is interested in sharing memories of Gleach or uploading any photos of her or her art, feel free to reply below.
When I was little in San Francisco, my best friend was John, a boy my age. His mother, Gleach (Gloria Leach), was an amazing artist. I remember her making Easter eggs: first poking a needle in the eggs, draining their contents, and then painting them in elaborate, beautiful designs. I know she had many artistic outlets, but that was a long time ago and don’t remember a lot from that age. I can only describe the little that I do remember of her art, and that in the foggy way that a child’s memories present themselves.
Gleach also painted this t-shirt for me. John and I both believed that the “sun” side portrayed me and the “moon” side was John, although I have no idea now if that was Gleach’s intention or something we made up in our own minds. In some ways they look nothing like we did, but in others I see definite similarities (mouths, chins, eyes). I think she may have based the faces on ours, and used artistic license with the hair and some of the features. I suppose we’ll never know at this late date.
Gleach has since died of cancer. Due to the circumstances, I don’t have express permission to post these scans of the t-shirt, but I’m assured by those who knew Gleach that she would be happy that I’m posting this on my web site. If by any chance someone comes across this who knew Gleach, feel free to post your memories of her below. I’d love to hear from anyone who has anything to say about Gleach, her art in general, or this shirt in particular.