"When dawn spreads its paintbrush on the plain, spilling purple... ," Sons of the Pioneers theme for TV show "Wagon Train." Dawn on the mythic Santa Fe Trail, New Mexico, looking toward Raton from Cimarron. -- Clarkphoto. A curmudgeon artist's musings melding metaphors and journalism, for readers in more than 150 countries.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Fort Worth memories

4525 Trueland Drive, southeast Fort Worth. After all these years I can still remember the address. I lived here through first grade, walking down that gravel road to school. No car, no school buses. My teacher's name was "Mrs. Gaylee." My brother Jerry was born when we lived here. Dad painted Christmas scenes on the glass of the front door. I still have a snow scene he painted looking out the front window one day, of the vacant lot and trees. He started in the morning and quit in the afternoon when the snow stopped.

This house was also hit by lightning. I was asleep in my bed and can remember concentric white circles coming in toward the the center--like the reverse of little waves going out when a rock hits a pond--and when the circles got to the center of my forehead, lightening hit, blowing the fuse box and waking me up.

The house to the south, shaded by the trees, had chickens, and I remember the people cutting their heads off for dinner and the headless birds running around in circles before they flopped over. Terrifying. To the north in the field we had a garden and corn, and a clothes line. Behind the house my Dad had a small studio for painting. I remember seeing my first praying mantis out there one night.

I have a large yellowing and framed pen-an-ink drawing my dad did on veteran's day when he was only 14 --of a knight outside a castle raising his hand to a fair maiden in the window. The drawing was the only thing my grandmother saved from a house fire when they lived in Comanche, Ok., in the 1920s. And it was hanging over the fuse box struck by lightning in Fort Worth. Today it hangs in my studio.

Isn't it amazing what we remember from our childhood?

1 comment:

  1. I love recalling the "old days". It is amazing what we bring with us from our past. You have such rich and vivid memories illustrated here. My mother was an artist and, like your father, she painted Christmas scenes on the big picture windows that made up the front of our house. I would love to see the people of our small town line the sidewalk to watch her work. When the work was complete, there was always a few people out in front of the house admiring her paintings. I believe she used paint mixed with soap powder?? That I am not sure of. Anyway, I loved reading these remembrances - and am happy that, through your words, I relived a little of my Christmas past. Thank you!


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