I've been off the website for a while because I'm taking care of my brother at
his house as he fades away due to pancreatic cancer taking over. He is hanging
in there, upbeat, gets around with my help and rides the wheelchair up the lane
to the mailbox on a sunny day and we watch basketballl and now baseball on
TV and eat pizza and drink beer and sleep a lot. Here's his Ernest Hemingway pose.

FRIDAY, APRIL 13, 2012
JANUARY 21, 1937-APRIL 12, 2012

    John died in his sleep Thursday morning at 8 AM in his own bed
in his own house, just the way he wanted it, peaceful and pain free.
His wish to be cremated and buried on our property is the way it will
go down. Superb fly fisherman, excellent oil painter, writer of stories
and novels, best brother anyone could ever have. Adios mi hermano.



John Babbs died from pancreatic cancer at his home in Glenwood, Oregon on
April 12, 2012. John was born in Columbus, Ohio to Kenneth and Frances Babbs. He
grew up in Mentor, Ohio, near Lake Erie and spent countless summer days at the lake
skipping flat rocks across the water. He was a three sport athlete in high school, played
baritone horn in the band and wrote for the school paper. He received a BA from Western
Reserve University in Cleveland, where he also played on the football and basketball
teams. He was a member of the Phi Beta Kappa Society and proudly wore their pin,
for he was a practitioner of their motto: "Love of learning is the guide of life."

            John earned his Masters Degree in English from Ohio State University and taught
at one of their satellite campuses. He also taught at a boys prep school in Pennsylvania,
and at Cleveland State. Later, after moving west, he taught at Southern Oregon College
and The University of Oregon. He served two years in the Army as a clerk-typist at Fort Knox.

            He was one of the original Merry Pranksters on Ken Kesey's psychedelic painted bus,
Further, during the famous trip to Madhattan and back in 1964.

            John moved to Springfield, Oregon in 1972 and bought a small house on M Street
where he lived until the city widened the street, put in sidewalks and sent out notices the
house owners would be billed for the work. John immediately sold the house along with
the bill from the city, and bought his "God's Little Acre" in Glenwood, an idyllic haven
of trees and shrubs and flowers bordered by a slough on three sides; a place where critturs
and birds roam.

            John's house was his studio. There he wrote books and stories and painted large
oils, almost all dealing with his lifelong passion: fly fishing. The North Fork of the
Willamette River was his favorite fishing spot and he knew every pool and riffle from
the covered bridge in Westfir to the Kiahanie campground, far upstream.

            John never gave up his love for playing basketball. He was on the multi-year
Springfield Industrial League championship team, The Springfield Creamery Jugs, and
when the league disbanded, John began playing at the YMCA in Eugene, his sharp elbows
and deadly jump shot a fixture on the court well into his 70's.

            Along with the many friends John made at the Y, were his card playing buddies
at the weekly poker game he held at his house. The hands were dealt fast, the money was
flowing, and deuces were always wild. John played a cagey game and won more than he
lost but the real gain was the camaraderie built up over the years, lasting until his final
poker game four days before he died.

            Who can forget John tooling around town in his handpainted with a fish on the
hood 1974 MGB convertible? Or the smile on his face captured in a photo when he netted
a fourteen inch rainbow and released it into the water. A quiet spoken, unostentatious man,
well liked by everyone he met. Never married, but many loving girl friends, John
demonstrated the qualities you admire in a person: persistence, meticulous in his work,
a wry sense of humor.

            John is survived by his brother, Ken, and nine nephews and nieces and four great
nephews and nieces.


MONDAY, MAY 7, 2012

Went out to John's grave yesterday, bright warm sunny day, to put the stone
on the concrete base I poured last week. Took along all of John's little gizmos
he had around his house, going to stick them in concrete along the base of
the tombstone.

Saturday and Sunday, June 9 and 10

John Babbs, who died in April at the age of 75 from pancreatic cancer, was
a prolific painter over the last forty years of his life. He worked mostly in
oils with a palette knife, and he also did numerous water colors.

He was a consummate fly angler and most of his paintings are of fish and
fishing, with an occasional landscape or a far-fetched self portrait.

John often painted from photographs. Here's an example:

A three day showing of John Babbs’s works will be held at the New Zone Gallery,
164 W. Broadway in Eugene, Oregon on Friday June 8, Saturday, June 9, and
Sunday, June 10. All works are for sale, proceeds to go to John’s great niece’s college fund.

Show hours 1 to 6 on Friday.

Saturday will be the reception with food and drinks and music, starting at
1 PM and going into the night. Viewers are encouraged to bring food to share.

Music on Saturday by Walker T. Ryan.

Sunday, show hours are 12 to 6.

This is the BIG day for John Babbs's art show, Paintings At An Exhibition, at
New Zone Gallery in Eugene, Oregon. Doors open at 1PM. Food and drinks
will start happening about 4PM. After 6PM the action picks up with
Walker T. Ryan performing. There will be added attractions like a raffle
and an auction as the evening plows on.
John also painted other subjects.
Here's one of some Hog Farmers in 1968 at a campground.

Tripp Sommers interviewed me on KLCC radio about John and the art show.
To listen, click on: