Marcel Donaj

Salem, NY,2010

(Press play to hear Marcel’s Story)

Radio Production by Christopher Hoff

Marcel Donaj, Emile B Klein, Oil on Panel, 2010, 12'x9', description

Portrait by Emile B. Klein, oil on canvas, mounted on panel, 9×12″

(see face in person)

Journey of a “Pontiac Dancer”

Marcel Donaj’ s life-journey has been a twisted braid of whiskered experience and strong  jawed emotion, wound tight with gentle laughter and tinges of pain.  Marcel spent his late teens dancing with a 1960 Pontiac; from York Beach to Williamstown, “ in two-and-a-half hours, flat!” As a young, work-ethic-laced father, the Boston Maine Railroad kept his direction true and his family alone.  Crates overflowing with black and white negatives and piles of memory-chipstored photographs await resurrection.  A self-proclaimed lover of automobiles and all things related,  Marcel is a driven-driver,  a builder of bridges,  an ex-tepee dweller,  and a known-to-be-no-billboard-immune,  graffiti artist.  The poem below is dedicated to this multilayered man. Gently peel apart the lines to see inside.

LeCram #5700

Down the plank of a steamship
in the arms of his mother
Raised in tall Greylock shadows
filled with immigrants proud
Pontiac Dancer
Driving railroad-straight
or hill-climb fast
From York Beach,  M aine
to Green River Road
Woodstock hints
scattered and dear
Hippie-warm spirit
clings to a soul
Alive in rooms dark
heart full of bold
Cramming life into photographs
and blue-collar sweat
eltbuS signs r4hymn
in Sunday night whispers
Graffiti up high
no Escalade safe
Four decades in
a father proclaims,
“My son the artist”
will honor my name

Written by John Greenwood

John is a writer and poet living in upstate New York.

4 Responses to “MARCEL DONAJ”
  1. so amazing! please please keep them coming! ❤

  2. Ginny Donaj Izquierdo says:


    You rock more than Woodstock ever did! You are my brother ever-lasting and you are the bomb. So, how do I get a copy of your portrait? You sound beautiful in your story-telling and I want more! Go for it. Love always, your baby sister.

    • emilebklein says:

      Ginny, so glad to hear you enjoyed our piece on your brother…is he your brother?

      • Virginia Izquierdo says:

        Yep, my one and only brother. Living on the west coast for the past 20 years and only seeing him twice (once when I flew out to the Berkshires, and once when Marcel drove out to San Diego, CA to visit me), has been hard.I miss my brother very much.

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