Tub O’ Soda, 10″ x 10″ Oil on gessobord
Original page from Michne Camping Log, 1971
My father kept our camping log all the years we camped. This page has the story of the day I won the “floating mattress!”
It was July 16, 1971. The perfect summer day as I recall. My father was hosting the annual work picnic. I won a green raft that day for my athletic ability in the egg race! It was my biggest claim to fame as a 9 year old. I remember reaching into a tub of iced cold soda with what seemed like every variety ever invented. It was sheer heaven- all the FREE SODA I could drink! Pull the ring tab- wear it on your finger for a bit before carelessly dropping it somewhere in the grass. Take that long first sip…..ahhhhhhhhhh. Life was good.
Who’s Thirsty? 10″ x 10″ Oil on Gessobord
We didn’t have water bottles- there was no sippy box, pouch or fancy energy drink. If you were outside playing, and you were thirsty, you would simply turn on the spigot, bend down a bit, wait for about 10 seconds until the cold water reached the end of the hose, then take a long, long gulp swallowing, swallowing and swallowing. Of course, you would then offer the hose to the next sweaty, out of breath neighborhood friend. If you were on your game that day, you might remember to turn off the hose. Or, your father might step in huge puddle and yell out ” Who left the dam hose on?”
Cherry Kool-Aid, 10″ x 10″ Oil on Gessobord
Making Kool-Aid was hit-or-miss. First, you had to have packet. Chances are, we didn’t have enough sugar to fill the measuring cup. Next, to find the pitcher- (dump out whatever old drink was brewing in that!) After accidentally snorting the unsweetened powder when you opened it, get your spoon, add sugar, stir, then pray that you would have ice in the ice-cube maker! If all was right with the world, you would have the perfect sugary cup of cherry Kool-Aid. All in a summer’s days work!
Underneath the deck at 10 Evergreen was magical. All you needed was a spoon and a Matchbox and before you knew it, an entire town was created! My brothers were experts at sneaking spoons out of the house. Spoons made the best roads, and let’s admit it, they did the work of the backhoe and bulldozer! The sand was great under the deck-perfect for easy construction. Of course, there were a few boulders (pebbles), rivers (rain dripping through the slots) and the the occasional heat blast (the dryer vent), but overcoming those obstacles is what made the pastime exciting.
Hot Mess: 6″ x 6″ oil on gessobord
Cherry pie from fresh cherries? Nonsense! Who needs fresh when the can are so tasty! Nothing is more American than a slice of pie on the 4th of July! Hope you had yours! Happy 4th! And yes, this painting and the pie were a hot mess, but oh so delicious!
The Sprinkler, 6″ x 6″ Oil on gesso board
There was always the sprinkler. On super hot days, the sprinkler was seen more as an “at home” amusement rather than something to use for watering the lawn. Of course you could run through it, but the most fun was the dare to see how long you could stand under it while the freezing cold water fell on you. There is something about the sound of a “good” sprinkler that evokes all the magic of childhood, even though the sprinkler I painted made no sound, unless it would hit a metal roof, or a wheel barrel, or the pavement in making its arc of water. For watering the lawn, a sprinkler is a fine piece of suburban artifact-but for hours of sheer joy, a sprinkler deserves a top ten rating for its enjoyment factor!
Squeaky Clean! 6″ x 6″ Oil on gesso board
Bath time with Ivory soap was a given as a kid of the 60’s and 70’s. At least it was in our house. After a long day (or week) outside playing tag, jumping rope, riding bikes and playing in the dirt making roads with match-boxes, taking a bath was inevitable. The soap seemed to be everywhere. In the kitchen, there was Ivory liquid. In the laundry room, there was Ivory Snow, and of course, the bathroom had its bars of Ivory. Ivory seemed to get you squeaky clean- the day’s dirt (or weeks, sometimes) would settle at the bottom of the tub, the Ivory floating on the top. It’s fresh, clean smell is one I will never forget. For this painting, I bought a few bars to photograph and suddenly, I was 8 again, covered in dirt and wanting to be squeaky clean.