Hello, We have survived the COVID LOCKDOWN, and now it's time to celebrate our newfound freedom. Way back in January I was thinking what would be a better way to let other's know you've been vaccinated yet not have to use contact tracing or having to wave you're torn and worn Covid Vaccine card in public? Contact tracing never really took off en mas, so why not create a pin one could wear that likely would invite conversation with perfect strangers in a grocery store, gym, or while on public transportation? So there you have it an "I am Vaxxy" pin was created.
The pin is a culmination of the iconic "I Love Lucy" heart logo used for her television show along with a healthy dose of the chutspah which Susan Boyle displayed on, Britain's Got Talent in the 2009 talent show when Simon Cowell, a judge, cynically asked her her age. She responded by saying, "I'm 47, And, that's just part of me..." while simultaneously placing her left hand on her hip while gyrating several rounds for millions of viewers to see she wasn't meant to be messed with. No Way. No How. The rest is history. My secret dream is a global retailer will offer these pins at their checkout counters. Possibly corporations such as Google, Amazon, and/or Blue Cross Blue Shield would purchase them for their employees.
This is my first foray into selling anything that I've created. My former educational artwork on social issues has been hosted at the Smithsonian Institution, Harvard, Italy, San Francisco City Hall, Cornell, University of Notre Dame, and 100 universities. www.pftf.com
From my recent trip to NYC at airport lounges or when I was sitting at Silver Moon Bakery in NYC and most recently on weekends when I hand these pins out in Dolores Park it always tends to bring a smile and sense of kinship for all that we have endured and have overcome a formidable foe COVID 19. Many have not been as lucky as us in the United States. That is why I chose the COVAX program of the United Nations as a benefactor from the sale of these pins.
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Much of the success of the I am Vaxxy pins has been due to the generosity of spirit of two friends of mine: Marian Malatesta and Liam Mayclem.
I met Marian seven years ago in Santa Cruz at our weekly spiritual book club gatherings. As it turned out she became my landlady and a friend for life. She is handling the donations from the sale of the I am Vaxxy pins to the COVAX program of the United Nations. Professionally, Marian worked as a Qualituy and Reliability Engineer at INTEL for 28 years. When we met she was an IT Manager at UCSC and has since retired.
Liam Mayclem is a friend I have known since 1989. He was one of the initial supporters for my artwork devoted to People Living with HIV/AIDS. The work was honored to be included in the Inaugural Exhibition of the Experimental Gallery of the Smithsonian Institution of all places. He has been a tireless local public persona giving thousands of hours year after year for humanitarian non-profits as an auctioneer and Master of Ceremonies for their fundraising events. In addition, Liam is an Emmy Award-winning Journalist and is featured weekly on KCBS as the Foodie Chap. I have been fortunate to know Liam when he's "On" as well, as when he's relaxing in his home.