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.
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?
We are all mental patients to varying degrees. Nelson DeM has it half right.ReplyDelete
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
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
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
I get that too, but always with a question mark.Delete
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
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
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
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
Dear Geo., you are such a lovely pair - and Norma is a stunning beauty!ReplyDelete
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 .
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
In this new age of anxiety and uncertainty, we all need Someone to help us when we stumble.ReplyDelete
God bless you both and your family.
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":Delete
"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.
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
Dear Mike, Hypnotism was probably a bit of it, because I could see past, present and future in her. The balance was magic.Delete
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Hello sulis, this is a non-commercial site but you're welcome to express yourself.Delete
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
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
Pitchforks have no place in photos anyways. Too easy to stab each other with when someone makes the inevitable bunny ears.ReplyDelete
Perhaps, all men are mental patients because the women are nurturers.
Dear Juli, I have long puzzled over collective differences: Women, en masse, become progressive social movements; Men gather into moronic mobs.Delete
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.
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.ReplyDelete
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
Thinking of you and Norma and hoping you are both well and happy! Love to you both!ReplyDelete
Love to you as well, Louise. Hoping your thyroid issues get settled. This era has its threats. Believe me, I know.Delete
Polka dots counteract anxiety imho, as does this adorable photo - I have put my pitchfork down immediately and hummed a happy tune xxReplyDelete
PS sorry for my absence of late, it's the land's fault xx
Dear Lisa, No apologies needed --stewardship of Earth takes precedence. Anxiety may have figured in my choice of a polka-dotted spouse; I too have put down my pitchfork and fledged white feathers on my once leathery wings.Delete
I very much enjoy the photograph of the two of you!ReplyDelete
Dear Prof., Thanks. As our longtime friend, Christine, says: "We may all be in our 70s, but we can still get cuted up."Delete
I looked at the first photo before starting to read, and thought: Man, those folks look just like the ones in the painting ... I suppose that's a compliment to the artist :)ReplyDelete
The second photo is wonderful. I love your friend Christine's comment about getting cuted up (your reply above, to the Prof). You two did just that.
0_Jenny, Compliments on Grant Wood's illustrations of American Life can never be misplaced. However, in regard to cute-ability, I can't compete with polka dots.Delete