I have a vision of Pat Flammia in his kitchen where I first met him, his bushy mustache and gnarled fingers kneading polenta into a dish. He was a portrait of every Italian country gentleman I'd ever known – a wonderful, artistic, loving portrait. Then I picture him in an apron, lording over the corn-on-the-cob booth at Art on the Green.
Anyone who's ever enjoyed that corn – not to mention the festival – can thank Pat. He painted stirring landscapes and images of people with no faces. I don't know what they meant to others, but to me the faces were all the same. Every kind of person, all stripped of features, all the same. He was part of the tapestry of Coeur d'Alene that I fell in love with 15 years ago, listening to bagpipers on the North Idaho College campus, seeing beautiful paintings, eating great food. I didn't know who Pat Flammia was that weekend I moved here.
Pat died last week, and there won't be a formal memorial service for him. But this weekend, Art on the Green will be an informal three-day celebration of his life and the many contributions he and his wonderful wife, Sue, have made to our community. So, come down, and when you're nibbling an ear of corn, be sure to look skyward and give a wave. Job well done, Pat. Rest in peace.