Remembering Lloyd Reynolds

Lloyd Reynolds' pen

Lloyd Reynolds’ handmade quill and reed pens, from the Cooley Gallery’s 2011 exhibition Lloyd Reynolds: A Life of Forms in Art. Photo by Dan Kvitka

In light of the article “Rediscovering Lloyd Reynolds” (December 2012), I thought the following vignette appropriate. Shortly after finishing my law degree in 1973, I received a phone call from a newly graduated JD who said her office wanted to present a retiring judge a real quill pen, but they didn’t have a clue how to find one. Neither did I. However, after reflecting, I called Frances Van Hevelingen, a well-known Portland artist whose husband was Donald Abbott ’25. Without a moment’s hesitation, Franny replied, “Call Lloyd Reynolds.” Mr. Reynolds answered on the first ring, and after hearing my need, he simply said, “I’ll make you one. It will be at the admission office in an envelope under your name.” After thanking him, I saw an opportunity that shouldn’t go untried. I called the newly minted lawyer back and told her that I had found a real quill pen for the presentation, but it would cost the group of lawyers a $50 check made out to the Reed alumni association. The group quickly agreed and I thought the matter settled. However, if you were Lloyd Reynolds, and made someone a real quill pen, what would you do? I received a call from the same lawyer several days later. Mr. Reynolds had made the pen all right, but then he decided to test it out. In the envelope was not only the pen, but also a carefully crafted alphabet done by none other than the man himself! The lawyer’s group was so impressed, I was informed, that instead of sending over $50, they decided that the work merited additional remuneration and sent $100 instead. Little did I realize that my fundraising days had just begun.

—Bernard Merrill MALS ’06

Columbia City, Oregon