Cultural Writing. Art. In folk artist John Serl, Messer found a subject that brought out all he had and then sent him back for more until his native abilities expanded and deepened to meet the task. And Serl, it is crystal clear, gave all he had. "A deeply moving and beautiful book . If I could paint, these are the kinds of pictures I would dream of doing" - Paul Auster. "Messer's portraits celebrate an old man at the end of his long life and recognize the essential isolation which possesses each of us" - John Yau.