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The 411: Youth

Trash reveals...hidden treasure

Trash reveals...hidden treasure
SARA CANADY Artist Clay McGaughy meets Wilson County friends (from left) Rebekah Canady, Ethan Campos, Jeremiah Canady, and Michael Campos. McGaughy’s cover art caught the attention of the kids while they were adding old magazines to a recycling container, leading them on a hunt for the artist.

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Special to the Wilson County News
January 9, 2013

FLORESVILLE -- Treasure-hunting stories are famous for being filled with exciting adventure, a hint of danger, and happy endings. The children in this photo recently experienced a little of all those elements.

Ethan and Michael Campos and Jeremiah and Rebekah Canady have been friends for several years and live in the same neighborhood. They have shared many adventures in the back yard and around the block with lots of friends.

One day last spring, as Ethan and Jeremiah were putting some old newspapers in the paper recycling container on their street, as their mothers had asked, Ethan noticed a box of magazines with wildlife pictures on the covers. Being a curious boy, he convinced Jeremiah that those magazines were probably in good condition and would be good to read, and they probably had some cool gun photos in them, too. Jeremiah agreed, so into the recycling receptacle they climbed to retrieve the box. Of course, climbing into the recycle bin is not really a good idea; in fact, they had both been warned of the dangers of such an action, but they were willing to take the risk.

When they got home and showed their parents, they were given permission to keep the magazines. Closer inspection of the covers revealed their treasure to be Texas Game and Fish magazines dated 1954 to 1959. The boys realized these were the “old” editions of a magazine they are very familiar with today, Texas Parks And Wildlife, which they receive in the mail each month and thoroughly enjoy reading.

When Michael and Rebekah, the boys’ younger brother and sister, started looking at the treasure-trove of old magazines, they noticed the writing on the pages was different -- many of the illustrations were hand-drawn and some of the maps looked very simple and plain. As they compared the covers, they noticed each cover illustration was original art, instead of the sharp, glossy photos used on the covers of most magazines today.

One of the kids noticed the artist’s name on several covers was the same, Clay McGaughy. He had done at least five of the 12 covers on the magazines they had retrieved.

Thoughts raced through the children’s heads, and they fired questions at each other.

“I wonder if that guy is still alive?”

“I wonder if he lives close by?”

“Do you think he is still an artist?”

“I wonder if we can find something out about him from the Internet?”

As the siblings talked among themselves, the mystery grew, until one of the moms suggested they do some research and find out. So they did!

A quick “Google” search revealed that Mr. McGaughy is, indeed, still alive, still an artist -- in fact, a famous artist! -- and living in San Antonio. The kids were really excited and decided they would like to meet this famous person and maybe even ask him to autograph their magazines.

After some more research and communication between Mr. McGaughy and the children’s parents, a meeting was arranged.

Now these kids have some real treasure! One of the mothers drove the friends to San Antonio to meet Mr. McGaughy for a wonderful visit. The group toured his studio, and the artist graciously agreed to autograph their magazines.

There’s an old saying, “One man’s trash is another man’s treasure.” In this case, it has certainly proved true!

Your Opinions and Comments

January 16, 2013 2:54am
Interesting story - Reminds me of my grandmother's basement in MI. She was what would be called a horder today and had a room stacked to the clg with old magazines. When she passed my mother and uncle hired a crew to clean ... More ›

January 15, 2013 10:15am
What an interesting find! I am sure the kids will remember the artist and be on the look out for more of his work! :) Keep up the good work Canady and Campos kids.

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