Friday, September 12, 2008

My Friend Tina

I last saw Tina Allen Dec. 5, 2007 downtown Los Angeles at the Cultural Affairs Department.
Harold Hambrick and Tina had this idea to erect a life-sized statue of Mayor Tom Bradley right outside the convention center, here where Harold is standing.

It was a great meeting, a day punctuated with Tina's vision for what could be--how the late Mayor would stand, how he would be elevated, how she would make his face strong and determined. She was animated, and funny, yet serious and determined.

I was not in on subsequent meetings. The sheer load of raising over a million dollars for the project was daunting especially when there were so many more pressing things.

Tina was a worker and there was no doubt she could make it happen. When she and Harold put their heads together for the bust of the highly revered Lillian Mobley, it was fun watching her energy in motion, the stages the finished bust went through: from the photos to the drawings to the clay to the bronze and finally the day of the presentation to a standing room only crowd out at King Hospital. Tina loved Ms. Mobley and her love was emblazoned on that bust.

Tina met Kwaku (my husband) I think it was in Costco and the two became great friends. She often invited us to her many social events out in her North Hills home. Always present were the Hollywood folks. She dug down deep to pull at least one who had fallen on hard times back to the middle. When I would run into her, she would look right into my soul to ask how I was doing. She always listened for the answer.

No, we weren't best friends or running buddies, but she had my back and I had hers. And she was good people. Tina Allen was good people.

It only stands to reason that it was her heart that gave out. She used it so freely. She had high standards and set her price but she was a lover and she loved us all hard.

There is a fitting tribute to her in the L.A. Times...the first link is the text article; the second is a group of photos of her work. I looked back through my digital albums of the last day we met--thinking I had taken her picture--but I did not break out my camera until after we left her and Harold and I drove by the intended location for the Bradley Statue.

So now, I ask, who will make a statue of Tina?

To learn more about this wonderful woman visit her own site:

Read the story in the Times:,0,7790810.story

See Tina and Her Work:,0,4209369.photogallery?1

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