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Glory Days: American Legion Artist-Bartender Restoring Logo on Building

Volunteer Glory Sanchez is doing the painting as a tribute to cancer-stricken post commander.

Glory Sanchez is a bartender downstairs at American Legion Post 282 on University Avenue. But in recent weeks, she’s been spending hours at a time up on an outdoor scaffold—lovingly restoring the legion emblem.

Work is about half-done.  Trolley riders and motorists on Spring Street can see the progress daily on the east-facing wall—and note the stark contrast between the new and old.

Sanchez, a trained artist with a San Diego State art degree, said the logo was between 30 and 40 years old—and showing its age.  White streaks on the stucco testify to its deterioration. The mural evokes the national emblem.

But the five-year La Mesa resident and San Diego native said she’s volunteering a month of work not as a centennial salute but as a tribute to the American Legion post’s commander—Leland Brooks, who has been diagnosed with cancer.

“It’s something he’s always wanted—to have that restored. So we decided to make that happen for him,” Sanchez said Saturday afternoon during a break.

“It’s going to be really nice when it’s done. But it’s taking a lot more hours than I expected.”

She said she’s had to fill in a lot of cracks and chipping.

“When we washed it, a lot of the paint came off. [I’m using] an acrylic gloss matte. It makes the paint more vibrant, and it also seals as we go.”

At 53, Glory isn’t scampering up the scaffold. She gets help setting up from fellow American Legion member David Schauer, 48, also a La Mesan.

She paints about three or four times a week, she says, working around her bartending job.

But restoring historic murals isn’t new to her. She also repainted artwork at Chicano Park at the east end of the Coronado Bridge, especially the Aztec Archer.

“One section at the very top—the artist [Vidal Aguirre] who originally did that pillar passed away, and I was honored to do his portrait. We have his portrait at the very top of the pillar, and I’m the one who did that.”

In fact, skills she learned from an older artist at Chicano Park helped prepare her for the legion project.

“I’m volunteering, but [the legion] is supplying all the supplies.”

Said Schauer, her helper: “She’s an awesome artist. You gotta see her stuff down in Chicano Park. Very nice.”

art forlife February 26, 2012 at 09:16 PM
Good job!
Paul Le Blanc February 27, 2012 at 07:53 PM
Glory, has donated so many hours on this project.Through sickness and bad weather she still continues. She has had so many wonderful people helping her. Roger, owner of Aztec rentals has donated his scaffold from his company in lieu of the usual money he makes renting it out. Several others have helped prepare and prep the wall, leaving the dedicated tedious art work to Glory. She shines as great as the mural she is restoring. A salutte to you Glory for all your hard work and dedication. We all appreciate and thank you for all your long hours and hard work.Love, your friend and fellow volunteer, Paul Le Blanc.
Glory Galindo Sanchez February 27, 2012 at 08:16 PM
Thank You Paul .... Yes there have been many people who have been instrumental in making this project happen. Roger, Rebecca, Lenny, Bob Marlow, Clarence Miller, and the list continues to grow. And Thank you Paul for the helping with the prep work and everything else... I thank God daily for my Legion Family... Glory Sanchez

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