“RAMS” is an original oil painting by Billy R. Harper, resident of the Yellowhammer State, Alabama. Billy is a paraplegic from a spinal injury in 1985. Billy is a self-taught artist and began by drawing animals in 1987. Billy mostly paints angels today as he feels these paintings of angels will bring peace to this Earth. This greeting card was reproduced from an original artwork by Billy R. Harper for THASC Sales Co. a company dedicated to the employment of the handicapped. This unique group of handicapped artists creates art to help rehabilitate themselves.


For those of you who follow the Chinese horoscope you may know that this is the year of the RAM, which won’t happen again until 2027. I did a little research on you Arians and found that a ram is among the animals that people like most. People born in the year of the Ram are tender, polite, clever and kind-hearted. They have special sensitivity to art and beauty and special fondness for quiet living. They are wise, gentle and compassionate and can cope with business cautiously. In their daily life, they try to be economical. They are willing to take good care of others, but they should avoid pessimism and hesitation.

Chinese paper cut of ram

Strengths: gentle, soft-hearted, considerate, attractive, hardworking, persistent, thrifty

Weaknesses: indecisive, timid, vain, pessimistic, moody, weak-willed

Celebrities born in the year of the Ram include: Michelangelo (WOW), Mark Twain, Rudolph Valentino
Barbara Walters, Benicio del Toro and Bruce Willis. (Note #1 below)

Symbolic representation of Aries
Symbolic representation of Aries

When I attended the University of Rhode Island (URI), we were known as the Rhody Rams, a name we’ve had since 1923. I always wondered why we were called Rams and recently found out. The Ram is a tribute to the University’s former name: “Rhode Island College of Agriculture and Mechanic Arts.” There is a marble statue of a ram as you enter the Memorial Union. Our mascot was and still is Rhody Ram and as a cheerleader for 4 years I wore that symbol proudly on my uniform.

Rhody Ram
Rhody Ram

When my Aunt Cammie passed away she willed a painting very loved by her called “The Pagan Altar” to my sister Sara. The then head of the Art Department, Prof. A.V. Rosati, painted it. My sister had always been in love with the painting because her husband Gary was that sign of the Ram. It is, I think, a spectacular painting which sparkles in blue, green and gold when the sun shines in upon it and I look at it every day and think of her.

The Pagan Altar
The Pagan Altar

So now in closing I have a little quiz for you. When I was living in China and teaching there at the Jingshan School, I bought an embroidered wall hanging of all of the animals of the horoscope strung together which hangs in my kitchen. I want to know who of you can identify the RAM. Look closely and leave me a comment here on the blog. I’ll write you and let you know if you WIN!

Chinese horoscope animals

Have a wonderful Year of the Ram, all of you Arians!

And thank you to THASC artist Billy R. Harper for his wonderful painting which reminds me of so many lovely times and places in my life.

I’ll see you on Thursday.

Note#1. http://www.travelchinaguide.com/zodiac

THASC is a unique small American business producing cards and other promotional products.

2 thoughts on “RAMS

  1. dana burdick April 22, 2015 / 2:49 pm


    Check out the commit, ln the cupcake story.
    I posted lt on the wrong,story.


    • Maria April 23, 2015 / 1:10 pm

      OK. Thanks, Dana


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