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.
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!
Be Careful! 6″ x 6″ Oil on gesso board
If there is any phrase I heard most in my life, it was “Be careful!” It didn’t really matter what we were doing, we were bound to hear those two words. I’m sure someone at the Saf-T Lollipop company worried, in 1942, that toddlers would choke on their candy, hence the handy loop! Walking on a dock near water with a lollipop would have nearly put my mother over the edge. I wonder if a Saf-T lollipop would have put her fears to rest? Probably not. I can hear her chorus of “Ooo, be carfeful, easy, be careful, watch your step….honey…take your time…careful, careful…….” “Don’t worry, Mom, it’s a Saf-T pop!”
Life Preserver, 6″ x 6″ Oil on gesso board
There was no avoiding it. At some point during the summer, you would be tied into an orange life preserver. If you were lucky, it had dried from the previous wearing. You would put your arms out wide while your parent would strap you in and make it as tight as they could. Then, with your chin to the sky, they would tie it around your neck. It may have saved you from drowning, but I always felt suffocated! And the smell! They always had an aroma of sweat, Coppertone and mildew. But I’d give anything to smell that again!
PS. I was on a quest to find a life jacket for this painting. I did find one on eBay in it’s original wrapper, from Sunny’s Surplus from 1960 for $2.99. Hanging with honor in my camp!
Last Sip of Tang, 6″ x 6″ Oil on gesso board
Good to the last sip
The last sip of Tang was always an explosion of flavor…sort of like eating a candy orange slice-pure sugar. But how I loved that Tang- right to the last sip. It never seemed to dissolve, probably because I drank it so quickly. In my ideal life, I would have drank it out of a fancy juice glass, like this one is, but I probably drank it out of some stained plastic Tupperware cup. To this day, I still buy Tang- my family thinks I’m nuts, but a spoonful tastes really good in iced tea! I just hope they don’t stop making it. If it was good enough for the astronauts…
*Technical note: This was the first time I painted glass and it’s reflection. Very difficult- I have such respect for hyperrealists that hit this spot on… It was challenging, but I enjoyed the challenge!