This watercolor painting is my friend and artist, Lauretta Davies' rendition of "Lou," an adult with Down Syndrome.
The main character of The Away Place, John, is based partially on Lou, a
previously institutionalized adult who thrived when he entered the community in
Denver, Colorado. Lou was a client of my
husband, Alan Tiger's, living in a group home established by him in the late 1970's and became our friend and protege'. Tiger Restidential Programs was a nonprofit started by Alan at a time when the state of Colorado began to close down institutions for the developmentally disabled and supported the creation of community group homes.
The name John is based
another client we knew in Eugene, Oregon, a previously institutionalized adult with whom we both worked as part of a University of Oregon research project while we were students there. After adapting successfully to living in the community and working in a sheltered workshop, sadly, John was killed by running
across a highway during a community outing.
To both of these men, and the
many other wonderful individuals I have known, loved, and worked with, I give tribute.