Posted by parhad on July 20, 2001 at 15:37:24:

Helen Nimrod Schwarten James, sister of John Nimrod, was a very interesting and dynamic lady. It's a shame her brother blocked the installation of the Sumuramat Monument till she died, then tried to steal it for himself. Because of him she did not get her wish, what she worked and paid for...she not only didn't get to unveil the monument as I'd promised she would...it wont even be in her city, where it would have carried a tribute to her and her vision and dedication in the many things she did for us when she could have retired anywhere in the world she wanted to.

I told her she was the guiding spirit behind Sumuramat, her guardian. I think part of the reason there was so little interest was because Sumuramat was a woman. Helen supported the project from the beginning and when her brother failed to raise a dime, she donated $120,000 of her own.

She was not a frivolous woman by any means...winning her trust took work, as it should. I new perfectly well that John and Homer Simpson were filling her ear full of things about me...how they resented like hell "all that money" flowing to California, past their noses!! It was because of Homer, the "expert', that I had to cut the horns off of the helmet of Sargon the Great because Homer said it was a "Viking" design...the horse's ass.

Helen was fair, she was not extravagant. She got a good deal in her collection of bronzes, it was a good deal for us as well...but that wont be evident right away. And I of course was happy to be able to do it. She gave the collection to Northwestern University in Evanston before dying. Officials from the University viewed the sculptures, said they'd be pleased to display them around the campus. John refused to hand them over...guess why? They would only put the artist's name on the pedestals...NOT his!!! They sit, mouldering away in the basement along King Sargon Block, or close enough. You can pick up a whore on his street and go a couple of blocks for a burrito on "The Block".

She wanted some display items for her museum relating to Assyrians and military service. There were uniforms and other memorabilia from the Levies through the two World Wars. I made these weapons for her as a gift, in appreciation for her trust and generosity to OUR PEOPLE.

They are cast in stainless steel and bronze. I never worked with stainless steel before and I never will again. The Assyrians had iron weapons which I'm sure they kept polished. I didn't want the iron rusting over time, so I used stainless. It's very hard to polish the stuff and it IS hard to work at all...used up a lot of grinding wheels etc.

The helmet has an inlay of bronze...as they did. The bow has lion head devices at the tips, and the friggin arrows... I had to chase several buzzards for to get feathers. The arrowheads are a marvelously mean device. They have a "hook" alongside the point, shaped to enter easily, but impossible to remove without ripping and tearing the target as it's designed to catch on the way out. The sword has bronze handles and probably weighs close to what the real ones did. If you swung that sword around for an hour you'd develop impressive muscles. carrying all this iron and bronze on long marches must have produced one hell of an army. It did...they had one hell of a civilization to defend. Milk-fed priests are all we need to "protect" what's left today.

They sit now in a glass case in the slum of a building the AUA occupies...covered over with display items jumbled into one big mess. It pleases Assyrians to take what is grand about us and ruin it and display it and use it in such a way as to minimize any impact it might have.

It's more of that "sacrificing" we we're taught...everything has to eat dust and dirt, everything...our children last of all.