World War II veteran Thomas Creekmore of Millsboro recently reached out to the Milton Arts Guild with a special request.
The 97-year-old wrote, “I saw the bright stars on Dec. 21 from my patio in Long Neck. At 6:15 p.m. it was positioned right on top of a large tree that looked like a Christmas tree across some water. This scene is clearly in my mind and I would like it painted. I have sketched it. I have done some paintings in my time, but the old hand is too shaky now. If someone could paint it for me, I could send them my sketch. It is only a little of a fence, the stream, the tree with the bright light on top, the American flag on a pole and a lot of night sky. Thank you for your help.”
When Milton Arts Guild sent out Creekmore’s request to its membership, Lewes-based artist Jeff Crawford answered the call.
“When I wrote to him and said I could do the painting for him, he was ecstatic,” Crawford said. “He had done the sketch, which I used. I just thought it was really neat that he reached out to us.”
The bright stars Creekmore saw were actually the Dec. 21 conjunction of planets Jupiter and Saturn, what some refer to as the “Bethlehem Star.” This conjunction was last seen nearly 800 years ago.
“He said he watched the whole cycle of the star and saw it ‘sitting’ on top of the tree,” Crawford said. “That was important … and he wanted to make sure I got the flag in.”
Crawford’s painting is acrylic on a 10-by-10-inch canvas.
Creekmore was the radio operator on his B-17 bomber during his WWII service. He flew 20 missions with the 305th Bomb Group, which was assigned to the Mighty 8th Air Force in England. He says it is hard to believe that 26,000 young men lost their lives flying with the Mighty 8th, but he is glad he is still living to represent every last one of them.
Milton Arts Guild is a nonprofit dedicated to providing support to area artists with peer group and outside educational opportunities; promoting arts within the community; and planning and executing various outreach programs to guild members, students and other community organizations that promote the arts and enhance the local environment. The Milton Arts Guild offers original, high-quality, handcrafted and diverse mediums of art.