My Same Old 1998 Flood Story: before this devastating flood, I had at least a couple of books that were written and illustrated by Tom Lea. He was an extraordinary and very talented man.
The Two Thousand Yard Stare by Tom Lea
The phrase was popularized when, in 1945, Life Magazine published the painting Marines Call It That 2,000 Yard Stare, by World War II artist and correspondent Tom Lea. The painting was not referred to with that title in the magazine article. The painting was a portrait of a young Marine at the Battle of Peleliu in 1944 and is now held by United States Army Center of Military History, Forst Lesley J. McNair, Washington D.C. About the real-life Marine who was his subject, Lea said:
“He left the States 31 months ago. He was wounded in his first campaign. He has had tropical diseases. He half-sleeps at night and gouges Japs out of holes all day. Two-thirds of his company has been killed or wounded. He will return to attack this morning. How much can a human being endure?”
ON JANUARY 29, 2001 RENOWNED ARTIST AND AUTHOR TOM LEA DIED AT AGE 93 IN his hometown of El Paso, TX, as the result of complications from a fall he had suffered the previous week. He leaves behind the monumental legacy of a seven-decade career as an artist and writer in which he used the magic of pen and brush to convey his deep passion for the desert Southwest and its people.