Monday, April 8, 2013

A few of my dads paintings and a few thoughts on my blog and some local lore.

My dad would always draw. My dad was a very talented man. He played the piano quite well though he never had a lesson. I wish I had a recording of his playing. He could also play the guitar and the mandolin. One day my sister gave my dad an oil painting kit for either Christmas or his birthday and he was off to the races. He watched a guy on PBS who would paint a landscape in less than 30 minutes. My dad had no problem in copying the technique. He wouldn't just do landscapes he did portraits and his biggest project was recreating some of the Sistine Chapel ceiling paintings by Michelangelo. I have six of his paintings in my living room and my sisters have about the same. The are about 50 or so that remain back at the family house where one of my sisters still lives. The Sistine chapel Painting are quite large and still remain in the basement. I don't know what we will do with all the remaining paintings. I took some pictures of the paintings in my living room. The pictures are not of the greatest quality as some of them are  framed behind glass. You can see light reflecting off the glass and in some you can see a reflection of me taking the pictures. Here are a few of them.


I am not able to visit Blogger as often as I used to. So much of my time is taken up by just every day life. My days can be long often starting with a wake up at 5:30, sometimes 4:30 for a 6 a.m. work start. I am not complaining because I am fortunate to still be working for the same company (more or less) for 42 years. There are 700 people that recently, weren't so lucky. By the time I am finished with work, domestic chores and dealing with the phone it's around 9 p.m. and pretty close to bedtime. I enjoy writing a blog and visiting around but sometimes I just can't. I have also thought about just shutting it down because there are times when I write stuff that just doesn't attract anyone save for one or two people. That could be because I don't publish that often or I write things that are of no interest to anyone. I don't know.

Still here I am writing another one. During the course of the day, while at work, I find myself thinking of things to write about, often jotting ideas down so I would remember them later.

OK. Enough whining. I do have to continue my spring cleaning though I honestly feel like sitting around like a lump. It's a beautiful day outside and I have opened the windows. I have an urge to go out and visit things in my own city. Not Boston but my community 5 miles north. I am reading book on my city and have to honestly admit to not knowing some of the history that happened within a mile or two of my home. Where Jingle Bells and "Over the river and through the woods to grandfathers house we go" were written.
Grandfathers house is still there. Fanny Farmer lived here. The modern roller skate was developed here. The Issac Royal House, on the same street as my elementary school was on, housed the Continental Army including George Washington during the Revolutionary War. New York Mayor  Michael Bloomberg grew up here and went to the same high school as me. His mother still lived here until her death in 2011. One street over is the Peter Tufts house thought to be the oldest surviving all brick building in New England.
I remember going to the Tufts University Campus to see the stuffed remains of Jumbo the Elephant that was donated to the University by P.T. Barnum after he was killed when he was hit by a locomotive in Ontario Canada. It was destroyed by fire in 1975 and supposedly the ashes are kept in a 14 oz Peter Pan Crunchy Peanut Butter jar in the office of the Tufts Athletic directors office. At least according to Wikipedia. The Jumbo's is the nickname of the Tufts football team.
Then there was early colonial shipbuilding on the Mystic River two streets over from here.

On the more notorious side there was the grizzly murder of "The Black Dahlia" in Los Angeles in 1947. She was born in Boston but grew up here. She left for California for fame and fortune as an actress and wound up brutally murdered. It remains unsolved.

The Depositors Trust Bank Robbery in 1980, one of the largest bank and jewel robberies in the world pulled off by crooked police over the Memorial Day weekend even as a parade went by. It wasn't so much the cash that was stolen but what was in the safety deposit boxes. Who knows what was put in there and by who. Not everybody came forward to tell what they lost. Part of the former bank is now a restaurant. The bank vault door is still there as the entrance to the private function room an the hole in the ceiling where the robber entered the vault was left untouched. On the same street almost directly across ( the same street Jingle bells was written on about a block down) was the Pewter Pot Cafe. This was the site of a Mafia hit. It is now called the Lighthouse Cafe and is a popular breakfast spot. I had more than a few Sunday morning breakfasts there.

In 1989 the FBI succesfully taped a Mafia initiation ceremony here not too far from where I live.

Alrighty then I've gone on long enough. It's time for lunch or maybe a very early supper then it's back to work.

I'm outta here.


  1. Your father was a very talented man Paul!! His paintings are beautiful. How very fortunate your family is to have so many of his paintings.
    I think your posts are always interesting. Your area is so rich in history. Please don't give up your blog. How else would I know what you have been up to?? I think you should bring Arlene on a visit to the midwest this summer. Very nice motels here and in Peoria, or like I said, I will soon be getting something to take the place of the bed I got rid of.
    Take care Bro!

  2. You have a great heritage and treasure those paintings. It is wonderful just to know that some people care and have good memories of their pasts. Just write more when you get a moment. It does matter!

  3. I love his paintings. I wish I were so fortunate as to have one. You and your sister are fortunate to have tangible memories of him.

    DON'T give up the blog. I think that when we post regularly we see our friends more. But when we are spotty posters (measels or somehting I guess!) they learn not to look for us because 8 times outta 10 we didn't blog. Your blogs ARE interesting and so are the pictures. But you don't have as much time as you did, so we sorta don't expect to see you.

    I will be honest and say yours is among the best ones. Seriously. Don't give up. You, as is Beth are like family. HUGS!

  4. The paintings are awesome. You are right about what a talented man your fathers was. Loved the history of your area. We should all know things about where we live and how it became that way, but for some reason we are so busy with our lives we just never bother to learn.

  5. Lovely paintings Paul beautiful memories of your dear Father.
    I enjoy your [posts , so carry on .
    Sheila :)

  6. Hello Paul! Don't quit blogging my friend. I enjoy your posts. Seriously. Your fathers paintings are so beautiful Paul. Amazing he could pick things up so quickly. He had passion. Now you are talented too. I love your guitar playing. You should make another video. I should too. Take care and hope the weather stays nice for you.