Gary Jackson: Fire When Ready Pottery
A Chicago potter’s somewhat slanted view of clay & play
Categories: artists, friends

This week we lost one of our artistic friends at Lillstreet Art Center.
Lois Retzloff was known to many over the years for her talent and constant smile.
She will definitely be missed. She was the “highlight” of Handbuilding Room A.
She was generally a quiet person, and that’s how she went out as well.
Quietly. Overnight in her sleep.

When I found out that Lois had been a staff illustrator for “Highlights” magazine…
she became a rock star to me. I grew up with the magazine and loved the “Hidden Picture”
puzzle in every issue. Lois was responsible for many of them during my childhood.
Every trip to the doctor or dentist would bring another issue and another “hidden” puzzle.

And then she came to Summer Camp…
Lois’ class shelves were located in the room where I frequently have my camp kids.
And on days when the room was filled with campers, Lois would often get her stuff and find
another room to work in. So it was my “job” to introduce her to the kids and tell them all about
her career with “Highlights” magazine. They were surprised to find out that she drew the
puzzle… although I’m sure they didn’t realize it was more than a few years ago! Regardless,
every time Lois would re-enter the room, I would point her out again, and they would give
a rousing “It’s Lois!!!” with applause. Okay… maybe it embarrassed her once and awhile,
but I know deep down she loved it. Because after all, she was a rock star to my childhood.

I’m not sure if these examples are specifically Lois’ work,
but here’s two “Hidden Pictures” to refresh your childhood memory.

Thank you Lois for unknowingly being a big part of my childhood,
and for also being a big part of the Lillstreet community. We will all miss you greatly.
You have left behind a legacy of many childhood memories for more than you know.

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