Monday, November 05, 2007


My Grandfather's hat.

(Following is little bio- don't have to read if tired or busy, etc. - [it's the old- have guests over the house and bore them to death with a family slideshow]).

January 2003, me and my father went and cleared out his father's/my grandfather's apartment a few days before the funeral. I kept four mementos: a print by some Russian artist, a shirt, a page from his memo pad, and his hat.

The print: Its first owners were actually my newlywed parents. They bought the print in decorating their first apartment- but soon got rid of it as they found it too kitschy or Elvis-on-velvety? (in academia- they liked it till their education progressed(?), and/or until maybe friends commented/snickered- but they aren't snobs). However, my grandparents, in and from a different world(?), apparently liked it- as they gladly inherited and hung it above their couch where it stay till they were both gone. From toddler to adult, every visit I'd go to their living-room and stare awhile at the beautiful woman it depicted - I had(have) a crush on her as well as the painting itself- or maybe more just the associated memories. Wow- here's an interesting bio- just looked artist up- all these years never knew the story: Tretchikoff

The shirt: I had bought Grandpa shortly before he started to really decline in health (he loved the beach and ocean- he dressed like a surfer dude most of the time). Can't find the shirt just now.

The page from his notepad: I found tucked away in the lamp table drawer by his favorite easy-chair. Written 5 or 6 years before he passed at age 97- it reads,
"It's depressing to realize what age we are, until we remember what age we will be in later years- If we look, take a look, life always offers a reassuring parallel for all-" Nothing fancy, simply said.
Surprised to find note, he never seemed philosophical or whatever the word is, he was, for the most part, a quiet man with a love for family and the simple things in life, he was present & "lived in the now". Towards the end, he said, "I have no regrets, if I had it to do over- I wouldn't change a thing"- blessed. I knew him well, but never fully all what went on inside. I guess we don't realize a lot of what goes on inside anyone- including ourselves. Anyway, maybe take a look- or maybe not hahaha.


Blogger sub.dio said...

Lovely Drawing. I enjoyed your story it makes me want to go find all the things I kept that were my grandpa's, in fact I do believe I have his hat on the top shelf of my closet.

2:26 PM  
Blogger neilornstein said...

I have my grandfather's hat. One of those Russian wool hats. That was a generation that loved hats, that loved to dress up, unlike our baseball hatted casual generation.
Yours was a moving post.

3:26 PM  
Blogger studio lolo said...

I'm so glad I took the time to read every word. I savored them all, each word and story. I could hug you right now, you sentimental guy. I adored seeing the hand-written note and the lady you had a crush on for so many years. I did have to turn the sound off though, too disturbing for such a beautiful walk down memory lane with you.
This was perfect to come home to Andy, your kind words on my post, and then to come here. Aaahhhh.
The hat painting is wonderful. I can feel the softness, and I love that you chose to show it in the sun. It deserves the spotlight.

5:40 PM  
Blogger Laurel Neustadter said...

A beautiful painting (drawing?). You have done an excellent job at creating atmosphere. Great composition and colors.

4:03 PM  
Blogger get zapped said...

I so enjoyed the commentary to go with your hat prompt. You are lucky to have a connection to your Grandfather, through his belongings and memories. I love the hat, I feel as though I could reach out and touch it. And I can see why you fell in love with the girl, she's beautiful. A rich post! Thank you.

2:40 PM  
Blogger luisa brehm said...

Andy, it's a kind of magic !!!
people we love are still alive in simple objects .... sometimes i can feel the smell ... you kept 4, see the stories you can tell ??? and draw ??? fantastic hat, by the way !!!
"life always offers a reassuring parallel for all", your grandfather was right ....
big hugsssssssssssssss

6:43 AM  
Blogger md said...

great trubuite to ur grand father like lolo glad i read it all

7:52 AM  
Blogger AndyDoodler said...

Thanks much sub.dio, Neil, Laurel, LaurelN., GZ, Luisa, and MD for all for your kind words

2:30 PM  
Blogger HARDWAX said...

That handsome hat, sitting alone in sunlight and shawdows, and sad, yet somehow alive and vibrant. So wonderful this painting Doodleman!

Loved reading all, especially the note.
The painting of Miss Wong I have a theory. Over the years Miss Wong has absorbed inscrutible brilliance from you, or vica versa, or perhaps it was an equal exchange.

5:19 PM  
Blogger Twisselman said...

Yowzah! What a hat... and the texture of the fabric of the band and the wool in the hat and the sun on the crown and brim and the composition... and, yes, the whole story. Grandpas... love 'em and miss 'em. Both of mine died within six months of each other when I was 10. The stories they had!

7:39 PM  
Blogger steve said...

Wow, this is just an excellent entry Andy. The hat rendering is amazing and so is your story. What's most amazing is the fact your grandpa made it to 97!!

5:04 AM  
Blogger AndyDoodler said...

I wish I could absorb brilliance by looking- could be Einstein each visit to Hardwax.
Thanks much Miri

Thanks Steve- yeah 97's pretty good.

5:56 PM  

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