Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Dick Lyon Mayor of Oceanside
1923 - 2017

It doesn't get any better than This!

These were the words Dick Lyon said to me when he was interviewing me for the vacant Arts Commissioner position for the City of Oceanside. He was standing at a lectern in front of his office window looking out over the Pacific Ocean. This is my desk he told me “I hate to sit down when I can stand have the pleasure of this View.

This was in 1992. I was only a year's resident in the City of Oceanside when one morning there was in the local paper an announcement of a vacancy for the Arts Commission. I said to my husband Robert, “do you think I should apply for this position?” He said yes, and that's why I was now standing in the Mayor's office talking about Art.

I did not know him well, but he was a Great Man of many interests and abilities. His was a world view of the human condition, and this understanding of how humans related to each other was infused by his travels in the military and the many conflicts in which he fought for our Country. He told me that one of the bridges to the appreciation of other cultures was through the Arts, and so we had a common ground of understanding of one way to serve Oceanside.

Many a time on the way to my studio in Artists Alley as I was driving in my car, I could see Dick Lyon bicycling on the pathway next to 76...peddling away and waving to all as we went by. What a guy! We all looked up to him and knew that here was an exceptional man we had the privilege to call Mayor.

He was Mayor when I went before the City Council one fine day and asked that the Alley across from City Hall be designated Artists Alley. The case was made that my first studio could be a catalyst and this could be one day a venue patterned after the Gas Lamp district in San Diego. A banner was placed above the Alley proclaiming to all that here was something new. Something to replace the rampant decadence of the underside of Oceanside and bring a new force to our City which had never before had the Visual Arts as an element of Community. This force was the energy which combined with OCAF brought the Oceanside Museum of Art into being which changed the face of the City.

The Artists Alley Artists were the seed planters for all that followed and today there is energy, art murals, a flower shope and The beautiful Muramid Mural Museum. The trees are lighted at night, and music wafts though the air on the First Friday for the Four Seasons Art Walks...”It doesn't get any better than this...”

Dick Lyon

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