Museum of Friends Courthouse Show: Bill and Jeannette Thach

WALSENBURG- Jeannette and Bill Thach, the parents of Walsenburg Mayor Edi Sheldon,  are this week’s featured artists from the ongoing Museum of Friends courthouse show. 

    Jeannette Faris was born to Louise Saliba Faris & Asperidon Faris in Walsenburg on December 11, 1910. She was the inspiration for the name Farisita, ("little Faris girl"), when the small community just east of Gardner, needed to change its name to have a post office. She attended Colorado State Normal School (now UNC), and got an Assoc. Degree in Education

    She met William Mason Thach who had come to Walsenburg to a story for United Press on the Penitente celebration of Easter. He fell in love with her and after courting her favor through the many trials of her 4 younger brothers testing his worthiness to marry their sister, they were married in Montana. They returned to Farisita to take over the Faris business interests when her mother became very ill. 

    Bill came upon the opportunity to form a partnership in the real estate business. The partner unexpectedly passed away & the couple was faced with running the infant business. Obviously their efforts proved successful as Southern Colorado Land & Livestock is still in business.

    The couple shared a common love of this area and spent many hours recreating the spectacular panoramas of the ever changing Sangre de Cristo Mountains.  Jeannette′s medium was water colors.  She was always skeptical of Bill′s aggressive driving & took her little paint kit & a small jar of water in order to focus on the environment she loved instead of the perils of the risks he took without thought. She created mini scenes on the backs of business cards. She was generous & gave thousands of these little art scenes away.  She also made her Christmas cards each year creating views of the many places of worship throughout the county.

    Bill began his career in art in 1944 during a 6 ft. snowstorm that trapped everyone in their homes & some out.  He sat my brother and I down, and using my brother′s new paint set he did oils of us.  His medium was oil & later acrylic.  He loved doing larger works & created two pieces in 5X6 foot canvas.  One of these was sold & today may be seen at the office of Bachman & Assoc. In La Veta.  His work is unique and portrays the quality of his imagination in the scenes he created. Neither of them were as interested in their notoriety as artists as much as saving what they perceived as the environmental beauty in which they lived. They were unique spirits, literally united in marriage & mind throughout their 56 years together. 

    The couple did all they could to encourage the county to succeed in economic & progressive ways while demonstrating respect for the spiritual surroundings they felt a privilege to share.

    Stop by the courthouse to see the entire exhibit, and then be sure to take in the Museum of Friends show at the corner of Sixth and Main Street in Walsenburg.  www.museumoffriends.org