Tub O’ Soda

Tubosoda

Tub O’ Soda, 10″ x 10″ Oil on gessobord

dadlog

lisaraft

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?

garden hose

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

cherry koolaid

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!

Saratoga Ginger

Saratoga GInger

Saratoga Ginger

Remember Saratoga Vichy Water? Well, they also made Saratoga Ginger Ale! Of course, everyone had the Vichy water. My mother had it for every “adult” party. Each time there was a spill, it was “Grab the Vichy water!!” Not gonna lie, we usually had Canada Dry Ginger Ale. I resurrected this bottle from the Round Lake Antique Fest and thought I’d put the little sister of Vichy in the spotlight. What is Vichy water, anyway?

Frozen Pink Lemonade

pinklemonade

Frozen Pink Lemonade

After  ripping  the plastic strip off the can, removing the aluminum disk from  the end, I would hold that can for a few seconds then wait for the “scccuuuupppppp” sound as the plop of pink creamy ice fell into the pitcher. I remember being in such a hurry to make it that filling 3 whole cans of water seemed like an eternity. The sticky, gooey mess would be left on the counter, along with whatever utensil could find to make it. Then, after selecting a glass as impressive as this pink drink, I would find the perfect spot to enjoy it. The ritual involved with pink lemonade hasn’t changed much and while buying a carton may seem easier, there is something about the canned frozen pink lemonade that remains  my prefered method of classic, summer-must enjoyment.

Coke and a smile.

coke and a smile

Coke and a Smile. 10″ x 10″ Oil on Gessobord

detailcoke

Detail: Coke and a Smile.

I feel for this generation that didn’t get to experience the Real Thing. The commercial- apple trees, honey bees and snow white turtle doves. Everyone knows things go better with Coke. Especially the mountains! Taking a freezing cold Coke out of a galvanized bucket of ice- there is nothing more refreshing on a hot summer’s day. It adds life!  It’s a natural! This video clip says it all! Classic Coke Commercial- Thank you Don Draper!

 

My Summer Vacation

lastoneAs the “Summer as it was…” daily painting series comes to a close, I leave you with this…

If you only read one of my blog posts, read this. This was a summer I will cherish forever. I made tangible the fond memories of my childhood, and hopefully yours, too. The story doesn’t end here. I hope to publish or license the images via a book encompassing these paintings along with the American cultural phenomenon during the 1960’s and 1970’s. Plus, I want a cool t-shirt with the salt water taffy painting on it! You may be wondering if I have a favorite. No, I don’t. There are a few that as an artist, I struggled with technically. But I’ll let you guess which ones those are. Tomorrow, I start a new job at Shenendehowa High School in Clifton Park, NY. I will be teaching art. I was an art student in the very wing I will be teaching in. It is where I attended school my entire childhood. I find it fitting that as “Summer as it was….” wraps up, it might as well be 1972 and tomorrow, I am going back to school. I hope you enjoyed these paintings. I hope they triggered a memory or a smile. I will be making available prints and am looking for a venue to show the entire collection. Thank you to all who “liked” or took the time to leave a comment. I also want to thank Peter Fiore who inspired me and challenged me to paint every day for 100 days. I painted for 70 days and, well, that’s works too! For now, it’s time to order more paint and start the next project!

My Crayons

Lisa David daily painting

My Crayons, 6″ x 6″ Oil on gesso

I opened the coffee can and was immediately taken back to my childhood. It was filled with Crayons my grandmother had for us when we visited. After she passed away, I “inherited” the can. I often open it just for the smell! They were made differently back then- more waxy. They even seem to color more smoothly. I used to love the pictures inside coloring books. Everybody looked so happy and perfect-like the refrigerator ads with frigs stocked with soda, juice and other tasty treats. I don’t remember ever having an umbrella. We just had rain coats…lucky Jane- She always had everything…even a new green raincoat.

First Step

Lisa David pool ladder

First Step, 6″ x 6″ Oil on gesso board

Taking that first step into a pool elicits the best reactions. All I know is there is nothing better on a hot day than taking a swim. Growing up, we had above-ground pools. Many of them, or so I seem to recall. My father would work into the night spouting his most colorful language. Then the hose would lay in the bottom and eventually, it would fill with the most frigid water.  We would take that first step on the ladder and stick our toes in. If we were lucky, we would get an invite to the local community pool at Clifton Knolls-Barney Road, to be exact. Well, I visited there yesterday (yes, I was lucky enough to get an invite). The pool hasn’t changed much…and taking that first step from the ladder was brutal…for about 10 seconds. But gliding into that water, I was ten again. With the sounds of the splashing, the spring of the diving board, kids laughing, footsteps on wet cement…no better way to spend at least one summer’s day.

Bread & Butter Pickles

LIsa David, 6" x 6" oil on gesso board

Bread & Butter Pickles, 6″ x 6″ Oil on gesso board

Pickles is a fun word to say. And, they are fun to eat! My grandmother used to make bread and butter pickles. She always had on an apron (which she made) that was trimmed with rick-rack. There were special pickling tools and jars…a entire days worth of a process just for some pickles! The pickles were more precious than her tomatoes. We would only get one jar, with a special label. “Grandma’s Bread & Butter” with the year.  I always thought she was stingy with her pickles, until I tried making them! It was so much work for such a small little condiment. Until I discovered that Vlassic makes a pretty mean sweet and sour pickle. Now, I eat pickles all year long! I bet you have a few jars in your refrigerator???