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Mort and Friends
Mort Marcus, Donna Mekis, Lisa Jensen, Bruce McDougal, Jim Aschbacher, and Marcia McDougal

Excerpt from Striking Through the Masks
P. 416

Wherever I went, I seemed to be enveloped by history and was constantly reminded of how past and present entwined in a never-ending continuum.

The same was true in 2001 when Donna and I traveled to France, where my old friends Bruce and Marcia McDougal had bought a converted mill in Burgundy, which had been built during the Napoleonic era. We were accompanied by another couple, Lisa Jensen and Jim Aschbacher. Lisa is a film critic and novelist and Jim, a self-taught artist. All six of us are artists in one way or another, but what had drawn us together several years before our first trip, I think, was that we were three loving couples who brought no marital tensions or doubts to our dinners and conversations and so felt comfortable and open with one another. When we started traveling together, we found that the love each of us bore our mate had created a sense of caring for others that extended to the group, and the friendship between the six of us reached a rare level of camaraderie and trust it still maintains. In the summer of 2005, the six of us, at Jim’s request, journeyed from the mill in Burgundy to the medieval city of Bern, Switzerland, for the opening of the Paul Klee museum, and I thought the city as well as the museum were extraordinary finds. In all cases, the present contained acute reminders of the past.

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