All aboard. People I very much appreciate:

Saturday, October 9, 2021

Enigma in The Ages of Anxiety

Observe, "American Gothic" painted on beaverboard --an appropriately named art surface of pressed wood fibers-- by Grant Wood in 1930. It was a decade that nurtured the "Age of Anxiety" described in W.H. Auden's baroque eclogue 15 years later. The house, Dibble House, in Iowa, is made of wood, of course.

Models selected for the gallery photo were Grant's sister, Nan Wood Graham, and Dentist, Dr. Byron McKeeby. Hopefully, by the time the photo was taken (1942) , Dr. McKeeby was using smaller dental instruments.

Which brings us to Autumn, 2021:

Norma and I are photoed at a recent family function. Wood is in the background but has reverted into a palm tree. We have neither Dibble House (although we have spent 1/2 century modernizing such wonders) nor pitchforks. We have each other.

Nelson DeMille wrote,"Basically all women are nurturers and healers and all men are mental patients to varying degrees." Yet, in this new age of anxiety and uncertainty, I certainly try to concur with DeMille  --or do I?


24 comments:

  1. We are all mental patients to varying degrees. Nelson DeM has it half right.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dear Emma, I concur partially but am overmuch influenced by the old playground rhyme:"Girls go to college to get more knowledge; boys go to Jupiter to get more stupider." I'm not sure even DeMille could confute that.

      Delete
  2. I couldn't help but wonder if Norma is a fan of Joc Pederson of the Atlanta Braves baseball team, who has taken to wearing a pearl necklace during games. Be that as it may, I'd say she's too good for you, Geo., except that I know and admire you. From a distance. (Don't start wearing pearls, though.)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dear Bruce, I suspect Mr. Pederson's latest solo home run against the Brewers has got other team managers requiring pearl necklaces for all their players. And you're right, Norma IS too good for me, but don't tell her. After 51 years of marriage it might shock her.

      Delete
  3. Replies
    1. I get that too, but always with a question mark.

      Delete
  4. That is a beautiful photo. My daughter and son-in-law's engagement announcement was them (in costume) posed in front of that house. SIL is from Iowa.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dear Margaret, Thank you! I'm delighted with your daughter's and son-in-law's idea to pose in front of Dibble House. What fun!

      Delete
  5. Nice photo of you and Norma. Your comment about the dentist using smaller instruments almost knocked me off of my chair. Thanks for the good cheer and smiles.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. My pleasure, Tom. A habit of growing too many molars and decades of farm work and gardening afforded me great respect for dentists and pitchforks. American Gothic has it all.

      Delete
  6. Dear Geo., you are such a lovely pair - and Norma is a stunning beauty!
    I love her haircut - and of course the dress with those pearls and bolero jacket - Norma definitely has the je-ne-sais-quoi of French women. Chic!
    AND she creates so great photos.
    You are a lucky man! Of course that applies vice versa, she is a lucky woman.

    That picture "American Gothic" is one always imprinted in my memory - it makes me cautious and nervous .

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dear Britta, You're quite correct about Norma. She possesses Je ne sais quoi, peut-être une paisible joie de vivre collective, which I first noticed when we met 53 years ago. You are very kind in your compliments. Thank you!

      Delete
  7. In this new age of anxiety and uncertainty, we all need Someone to help us when we stumble.

    God bless you both and your family.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Victor, thank you for reminding me of changes I made deep in another century. Around that time I heard The Band's record of "Up On Cripple Creek":

      "Up on Cripple Creek, she sends me
      If I spring a leak, she mends me
      I don't have to speak, she defends me
      A drunkard's dream if I ever did see one."

      I've encountered several angels in life and so apparently had Robbie Robertson, lyricist and performer. His comment on his song was that it didn't describe people on "the top of the ladder". Maybe he was an angel too.

      Delete
  8. First picture of the two of you together I've seen, Geo. What did you have to do, that half century ago, to con her into marriage? Hypnotism? Whatever, you are a lovely couple. And I can just hear Levon Helm singing to you two.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dear Mike, Hypnotism was probably a bit of it, because I could see past, present and future in her. The balance was magic.

      Delete
  9. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hello sulis, this is a non-commercial site but you're welcome to express yourself.

      Delete
  10. Such a lovely photo of you two, Geo! "We have each other." Are there any more beautiful words? To love and be loved throughout the decades is the most precious gifts of all! Wishing you many more happy years together!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dear True Blue, Accurate as always --but Norma is the strong one now, physically (mentally too, probably) and attends to things I once was able to do. I help where I can. I, uh, consult; sometimes recommend hiring things done. The "gifts" you mention are indeed "precious" and practical. Love, Geo.

      Delete
  11. Pitchforks have no place in photos anyways. Too easy to stab each other with when someone makes the inevitable bunny ears.

    Perhaps, all men are mental patients because the women are nurturers.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dear Juli, I have long puzzled over collective differences: Women, en masse, become progressive social movements; Men gather into moronic mobs.

      Haven't yet found reason for bunny ears in group photos, but have been researching it for 71 years --just see if I ever do THAT again.

      Delete
  12. A lovely photo of you and Norma. When you have each other, there's no need for a fork. Norma seems to be the nurturing type and I hope that you feel safe and cared for with her at your side.

    Hugs,
    Julia

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dear Julia, I often stand next to Norma in photos because even I need to feel lovely sometimes --and safe and cared for. Met her in a library 53 years ago. Learned she had $70 and a bicycle, so I married her.

      Delete

Please comment! Stats are just numbers and don't really represent you. I need to read what you think and thank you.