Monday, July 21, 2008

Art Boos the Artist

I have clear childhood memories of Clint Eastwood and Sondra Locke at my house, laughing with my father and watching him paint. My childhood hero -- just hanging out, telling jokes -- or just eating dinner, or playing ragtime on the piano...

Yep. Dad used to keep some interesting company. For a wanna-be Ninja-gunslinger-dragon-slaying ten year old, this was super-potent mojo, too. Clint Eastwood rocks, for God's sake! No punks were going to be feeling lucky around my house. Bam bam zing! Any punks would get hot lead, I was pretty sure.

My dad was an entertaining artist, among many other things, and that's how he attracted an amazing and diverse group of patrons. The King of Jordan and Jamie Wyeth (son of Andrew Wyeth) represent just a small sample of the kind of interesting souls who collected my dad's work. My father usually gave away everything he painted, but every now and then he'd have an art show in our backyard (as an excuse to throw a huge party, I suspect).

His Western Art drew folks from far and wide. On the day of the art show, there would be Ferraris, Lamborghinis, old beaters, and sundry pickup trucks, all mixed about on the street. The crowd couldn't have been more diverse. Top cops, and probably several wanted rapscallions, all taking a day off to enjoy my dad.

I remember mingling with the Assistant Director of Counter-terror; several Senior Special Agents in Charge of the FBI; a highly decorated CIA agent; a multi-starred Infantry General; fighter pilots; war heroes; frogmen; incredible musicians; captains of industry; various eccentric geniuses; and a thoroughly bizarre rogues gallery of other characters. It was all about nasty jokes, great BBQ, open-bar, and my dad doing his thing.

What memories... Those Art shows were something to behold.

Thanks to Frank Short for reminding me of these old times. :)


Jeannie said...

There has never been, and probably never will be, anyone quite like our dear, old dad. Great words, Ben.


MS said...

great comments. I remember a few of those parties