Saturday, January 3, 2009

Oma's back porch, Brooklyn, NY

8"h, 10"w oil on canvas board
In 1976, my sister Anna and I took a flight to New York to visit our grandparents.  We were 12(me), and 15(Anna), and we were to spend our "whole summer" there in Brooklyn.  Our grandmother, whom we called "Oma", was really our caretaker, as our grandfather (Opa) was already pretty incapacitated by then, and not probably real happy about the arrangement.  I remember him banging his cane (or a broom?) on the ceiling  when my sister and I were listening to the small radio upstairs or laughing too loud.  What I remember about Opa is:he was mostly blind, and wanted to tell long stories that I  did not want to listen to.  Oma made baked goods regularly, and bought fresh bread every day, which we enjoyed with REAL butter.  And tropicana orange juice!  Ice cream every night!  She pushed one of those "granny carts" (the same kind I sometimes schlep around with my painting supplies) to the market every day it seemed.  Also to church for Mass, which happened to be a long walk through the creepiest cemetery  I had ever seen.  (I loved it of course)  We saw a few sights; one of them being a real live "flasher" (trench coat and all!) on the city streets-Anna and I never laughed so hard!  We took the subway to visit some of the historic sights, and to the beach.   Oma treated us to Radio City Music Hall where we saw "Logan's Run", and the "Rockette's".  We saw a play on Coney Island but I can't remember what.  Oma bought me my first pair of "platform" shoes and I wore them to death for months (they added three plus inches to my height!) We found a sweet "mother" German Shephard and her young pups living between Oma's house and the next.  Anna and I saved some of our food for her, but Oma found out and wasn't happy about it.  Anna must have taken the snapshot I used for this small painting on Oma's back porch.


  1. You captured your Oma well, so well, I'm half expecting to hear her scold me. Your older sister told me years ago that you were a really gifted artist, I wish I had paid more attention to those words, I might have had the pleasure of seeing your work sooner.

  2. What a great memory to share with that beautiful picture! I think I need to drive out - you are pulling out all these paintings that I haven't seen yet! (Secretly, it's kind of fun to be surprised!)