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Artworks That Are Divine

June 05, 1988|DICK RORABACK

He is a pilgrim--to Central and South America; to Turkey, Egypt and Yemen; to the Himalayas, where he studied at a Tibetan center; to Skid Row in Los Angeles and the barrio of Santa Ana.

He is an artist--a stained-glass window for a Trappist monastery in Utah; a life-size figurative sculpture in Valyermo, Calif.; an exhibition of paintings at the Point Gallery in Santa Monica; videos; multimedia presentations . . . .

And somewhere during the kinetic pace of his life, Stephen Frost has taken the time to become a Father. Not a father, a Father.

Since September, Father Frost, a Roman Catholic priest, has been "artist-in-residence" at St. Luke's Episcopal Church in Long Beach, a most unusual post created by LeRoy Young, St. Luke's rector.

"Not that unusual," says Frost, whose works will be on display during St. Luke's Arts Weekend on Friday and Saturday. "The pastor and the congregation have recognized that there's a real spiritual conversation between religion and the arts; that the arts can be a real vehicle of spiritual consciousness in the 20th Century."

Frost, 39, will leave this autumn to pursue his doctorate in art and theology. Meanwhile, "Being at St. Luke's has been such a go that I produced 40 paintings in the first four months. Others that I'd been working on for 15 years--things that looked good but never quite worked--they also clicked and came to completion."

A little Divine inspiration? "Oh, I hope so," Father Frost says. "I depend on it!"

The Puzzling Case of the Discovered Diary

"Initially, when I first found it, it seemed to be such a charming diary that I tried very hard to find her." That was 20 years ago, and Colin Bryant is still looking.

In 1968, Bryant, "going to work in the dark and rain," found a journal lying in the road near London's Gatwick Airport. The diary was written by a Los Angeles girl about a high school trip to Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union--"not a simple diary but something she had put her heart into," Bryant says. Inquiries proved fruitless.

Last month, Bryant, now deputy director of civil aviation on Turks and Caicos Islands, British West Indies, decided to have one more go and enlisted the aid of The Times to locate the girl, presumably now in her late 30s.

Clues, provided by Bryant: "Jewish. Probably Polish descent, as she wept for her ancestors in the Warsaw ghetto. Parties: Northwestern College, escort looks like 'De Caris'; high school (hers), escort Mrs. Aristov; junior high, escort named Hansen.

"During tour, met by accident her health teacher, Gordon Paul, traveling in a VW bus with wife Margie, son Eric. Itinerary: L.A., N.Y., Leningrad, Djuny (school), Novgorod, Petrolesk, Moscow, Yalta, Kiev, Babi Yar, Vilnius, Warsaw (etc.) in summer of '68.

"Names mentioned: Tommy, David Futler, Mark from Palo Alto, Jane, Chris (father was U.S. ambassador to Ethiopia), Ronnie Silver ('best friend'), Dan from San Francisco . . . ."

"Nowhere in the whole diary did she put her name, her address or the name of her school," Bryant said by phone from Grand Turk. "It's a very sensitive diary, so personal that I would send it only to herself. Can you help me?"

Here's a Shipshape Benefit for the Little Clippers

It is incontrovertible that water emptying down a drain in the Northern Hemisphere flows counterclockwise. Less certain is whether salt-water sailors of the left-handed persuasion, when left to their own resources, automatically tack to port.

The thesis will be tested June 18 during Marina Sailing's "First Annual Southpaw Sail-Off"--a benefit for the left-handed schoolchildren of Newport Beach and environs. Contributions ($5) will go toward purchase of left-handed scissors for southpaw pupils. Left-handed scissors? "Sure," says Chris Mosier, Marina Sailing's Newport manager. "Look at your scissors. There's a large finger-hole on one side and a small one on the other. The angle's not right if you use it left-handed . . . ."

Contributors, meanwhile, get an introductory sailing lessons from the 1,500-member club, which is designed for people who love to sail but don't own boats. "Our chief sailing instructor, Bill Iveson, is left-handed," says Mosier, "half the people who work here, too. Don't ask why. They seem to think they're a little special." A little off-center? "Yes, I think so. Definitely a little different from us.

"I expect the knot-tying part of the instruction will be taught by our lefties; otherwise they'd be teaching backwards, no? I'm not sure whether left-handers automatically tack to port, but I bet they do. We'll see.

"I don't claim credit for the Sail-Off, though. It was the idea of Laurie Golden. She's my sister, basically." Basically? "You know."

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