Engraving Forum.com - The Internet's Largest and Fastest Growing Engraving Community

The Internet's Largest and Fastest Growing Engraving Community
Discuss hand engraving using basic to the most advanced methods and equipment
Forum Members: 13,566. Welcome to our newest member, R M ENGRAVING
EngravingForum.com - Domain since Feb 7, 2003

Graver Video Conferencing is empty Join now!


Go Back   Engraving Forum.com - The Internet's Largest and Fastest Growing Engraving Community > Forums > WaterCooler
ENGRAVING TOOLS - Paypal accepted Classes Glossary Feedback Tips Sharpening Bulino Videos Forum Policies

Reply
 
Thread Tools
  #101  
Old 02-06-2014, 04:21 AM
joseph engraver's Avatar
joseph engraver joseph engraver is offline
Platinum
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Sarzana,Italy
Posts: 562
Default Chapter 4

Spring is near; I have been working in my new garden pruning the grape arbors, olive trees rose bushes and planting potatoes, lettuce and garlic. It was while planting potatoes that I recalled Mister Bisbee and his farm where I committed my first carefully executed robbery at the age of thirteen.

CHAPTER 4: The Bonnie and Clyde Approach
There was little money in our house and like many New Englanders we lived day to day. As a teenaged school boy one of the things I hated most was my farmers bib overalls and cheap sneakers but they were my only wardrobe. I wore them every day for all occasions, along with cast off shirts from relatives. My Uncle Bill who had recently returned from the war in Germany had given me a waist length military jacket that still had his patches and stripes on it. I had to turn up the cuffs to wear it but I was very proud of it and wore it to school every day. It had inside pockets that became hiding places for my cigarettes. I started smoking before I finished the seventh grade.
Lucky Strikes were 10 cents a package. My stepfather Ernest would buy them by the carton and keep them in his bedroom dresser. I would sneak into his bedroom when he was gone, open up the drawer, steal a pack from the middle of the carton, and put it back exactly as I’d found it. I also kept a Prince Albert can in those secret pockets, where I would store cigarette butts that I picked up along the roadside.
One morning as I was getting ready for school I asked Ernest if I could have some different school clothes. The other kids dressed nicely, none in bib overalls with pockets on the side that rulers fit into except me. “If the clothes I put on your back aren’t good enough, earn the money yourself and buy your own. From that point on I found ways of earning money. My first jobs were picking strawberries .later I found work stacking bales of hay and following behind the cultivator sacking potatoes for Mr. Bisbee.
Mr. Bisbee was a hard-working Yankee farmer. He had a good farm with a nice herd of Holstein cattle. In the summer and fall his road side stand always had for sale the best sweet corn, green beans, wax beans, pumpkins, carrots, red fat Macintosh apples stored in round wooden baskets and honey. His apple cider was considered to be the best in all of Rockingham County, as were his peaches and prize winning cantaloupes.
One day I saw Mr. Bisbee on his red Farm All tractor, cultivator behind, unearthing big Russet potatoes in a cloud of September dust. I took off barefoot and ran the half-mile across the pasture to where he was working. “Mr. Bisbee,” I called up to him, “Can I pick potatoes for you?”


“You want to pick potatoes for me boy? Go right ahead.” And he continued on down the lane uncovering more potatoes. I grabbed a burlap sack from off the nearby wagon and started scooping up potatoes.
It was mid-afternoon when I started and by the time I had picked five eighty pound sacks full, I was getting very hungry. So I stopped, dragged all the sacks off the field next to the wagon, had a good drink of water and then went to Mr. Bisbee who was still bent over sacking potatoes. I told him that I was going home and would he pay me for my work. He stood up from his sack frowned, stretched his back and looked down at me. Five sacks of potatoes were worth fifty cents. Then he returned to picking up potatoes and said, “Boy, you said you wanted to pick potatoes. I didn’t say anything about paying you. Now you get on home.”
In the summer when the air at night was so sweet and whippoorwills lamented, fireflies glowed like tiny paper lanterns; I was would sleep outside- to the relief of the entire household. I slept under the lean-to of the chicken coop and most nights had the company of Buddy, a big gray and white rooster. We got along just fine once I got the part of the chicken that goes over the fence last, pointed in the right direction away from my head. When there was no worry about rain, I would take my blanket and sleep under the white pines, .the golden needles raked into a fragrant comfortable mattress. One night my friend Donald begged his folks to stay over with me. As we both lay under the September moonlight talking.
I told Don about the potatoes and non-payment by Mr. Bisbee and decided we should get even by sneaking up to his farm and steal melons. The melons were ripe for plucking and we knew exactly in what part of the garden they lay. Our plan was to walk up the road until we got to the cornfield, cut through it, climb under the electric fence and carry off as many melons as we could. Everything went quite well as far as the fence. Then the whole plan unraveled, we were crawling on the ground when, we ran into the herd of milk cows and spooked them. They must have thought we were a pair of timber wolves. Snorting and stamping their hooves they stampeded. They crashed right through the garden fence, mooing and moaning- and ended up in our melon patch.
Don and I turned and high tailed it back to our camp. We were too excited by the commotion we had stirred up to be able to sleep. After an hour or so we decided to steal some cider... Mr. Bisbee kept his cider in gallon glass jugs which were on the north side of the produce stand under the shelf that held the baskets of Macintosh apples. This presented us with the possibility of being seen as the farm house was on the other side of the lawn, exposing us to view.
We decided on the direct approach just like Bonnie and Clyde. We would hit quickly and be gone in a flash. Arriving at our target and waited to be sure no one was up. After a while, our heartbeats settled down a bit. We counted; “one, two, and three”…and then we were off. Donald grabbed two jugs and I had mine in my hands when the dogs started barking. We took off and ran straight into a little wire fence Mrs. Bisbee had placed around a bed of petunias. Both Don and I went flying through the air, head first into the flowers. I dropped both jugs and was crawling in the moonlight looking for them. Don was up and running and, looking for the ditch. I was determined to leave with my cider which I felt I had earned it in the potato patch. I finally got things under control and ran as if the Devil himself were behind. We took our jugs down to the backwoods near the giant oak and buried them for later when things cooled off.
We thought cider was like beer. We would climb up the oak, pass the jug back and forth between us, talk about the robbery and laugh ourselves silly. A few days later I was walking over to Don’s house and as I slinked by the produce stand, Mr. Bisbee called me over. “You were up here the other night stealing apples, boy?” he questioned me. “No sir, Mr. Bisbee. I never stole an apple from you, I swear to God I didn’t.” I turned and went running down the road, feeling pleased with the fact that I had not told him a lie.
Don’s dad was not a farmer, but a carpenter, who loved to play the guitar and hunt and fish for recreation. The Cary’s were a good happy family. Mrs. Cary was always fixing donuts, cupcakes and lots of pies. My favorite was her lemon meringue. Whenever I was allowed to visit them, she would always fix me tea with milk and honey and we would have some dessert to eat. I think she knew about my circumstances and was always kind to me. It was from the way they lived that I really began to understand my home life was not a normal one.
Here is also the idea for a new painting. It is to be done in bright carnival colors.
I think the title will be Clowns eating Ice cream.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg clowns eating ice cream 001.jpg (54.6 KB, 0 views)
__________________
"What a large volume of adventures may be grasped within this little span of life by him who interests his heart in everything"-Lawrence Sterne
Reply With Quote
  #102  
Old 03-12-2014, 03:53 AM
joseph engraver's Avatar
joseph engraver joseph engraver is offline
Platinum
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Sarzana,Italy
Posts: 562
Default The Farm 1938

I am a very fortunate man
I have seen kerosene lamps lighting the farmhouse where I was raised.There I listened to Peter and the Wolf played on a hand crank record player,listened to the news of the Second World War. Rode to town in a model T Ford, stood in the school yard and pledged my allegiance to the flag of the United States of America. I have known and lost loves, made and lost a small fortune more than once, lived homeless and dined in restaurants with no price on the menu. I would not change one thing that I have experienced in my seventy five years of living. This post that you are starting to read is quite long; consequently I have broken it down into two parts. It is written it in hopes that my experiences may be of value to others.
CHAPTER 1: The Farm 1938
Two women that were standing over me were talking about me. I felt shame as they examined my naked body. I recall the smell of Lysol evaporating from the tub of warm water that my great Aunt Lillian and my Grandmother, her sister Hazel had prepared. They had removed the urine soaked cloth covering the sores that extended from my waist to my knees. They then washed me, covered me with ointment and wrapped a clean white cloth around my waist, then put me in a white iron crib in the corner of the bedroom where my Great Aunt Lillian slept with her daughter Eva.
One night Eva started screaming when her father Andrew came into the room. Eva’s screams awoke me and I could see him hitting my aunt and dragging her from the bed towards his bedroom.
I could see them fighting like black shadows in the backlight coming from Andrew’s open bedroom door. From my crib I could see everything: Eva standing on the bed screaming; Andrew pulling my aunt by her hair towards the open door, raising his hand and slapping her; Her silently resisting, holding onto the top of her nightgown.
I started screaming and crying as they disappeared from my sight and the door closed and I was alone in the dark. After a while Eva came to my crib and let the side down. I was still crying loudly as she climbed up beside me. We sat there in the dark holding onto each other, Eva repeating, “Shush, shush now.” until I stopped crying.
When Auntie came back into the room she picked me up and held me in her arms and told me not to cry as she took me into her big bed. “Don’t cry Joey, God will take care of us” and I fell asleep.
It was the first time I slept in a big bed and the closest I have ever come to feeling maternal love.
Great aunt Lillian was all to me. She was my protector, my educator and the mother I had not yet known, she was a tall, once beautiful, woman who the hard life on a New Hampshire farm had made into a woman of the earth.
At nighttime I would sit in my crib and watch Eva brush, then braid, then wind her mother´s hair into a bun and pin it with a tortoise shell comb.
When I was bigger, Auntie would let me brush it for her. “Always 100 strokes, no more, no less Joey” she would tell me, and we would count each stroke together. “Ninety-eight,” she would say. And how many do we have left Joey? “Only two more to go Auntie.” You are a good boy Joey.
I do not know at what age I arrived at that farmhouse nor how I got there, but I remember the farm very well, as it was my home for eight years.
It was a large white two story building with green trim around the south and east sun porch windows. It was set upon a foundation of fieldstone that had been picked up from the 160 acres that surrounded Andrew’s farm. There were four rooms on the main floor, two separate bedrooms. One was for Andrew, the other for my Aunt Lillian, Eva and me. The upstairs of the farmhouse had four large bedrooms, all with washbasins and chamber pots. To this day I remember the smell of those pretty porcelain chamber pots as I would empty them into a slop bucket and carry it down the stairs to dump into the toilet.



It had a kitchen and a large dining room containing a long wooden table where we would all eat the evening’s meals .This room also served as a place to listen about the war in Europe and The Pacific over the radio and a parlor for family and guests.
The entrance to that dining room was through the busy hot kitchen which was always filled with the aroma of roasted venison, chicken, pork, and soups.
Pies, breads and muffins were baked every day in the wood-fired Majestic stove.
Each morning from the stone lined well, Aunt Lillian would draw water with a gray hand pump, build a fire with kindling and start the morning coffee, then fix school lunches for her three sons Andrew, Carl, and Bob and prepare breakfast for all before the roosters would begin to crow.
The kitchen contained a gasoline powered Maytag washer which stood by a window where the stinky and toxic fumes would be exhausted outside by a flexible metal hose. A small square green table for breakfast was placed against one wall with the chairs hung on wooden pegs from the wall. In a corner close to the stove and wood box was a large oak butter churn where I would sit cranking the handle watching the beaters turn the cream to froth then to golden flakes. My arms would tire as the large nuggets would form. “Auntie, what will happen if I turn the crank backwards?” I asked.
Turning from the concrete sink and the large pressure cooker full of kidney beans for lunch, she said, “If you do that all the butter will turn back into cream, Joey.” Weary armed I would keep cranking until I had a large lump of butter.

There were two doors exiting the kitchen. One led to the large pair of cut granite blocks that served as entry steps.
The other one led to the pantry, which was stocked with sacks of flour, salt, and sugar. Coffee, tea, spices and lard was kept in tins. Its shelves were lined with canned fruit and berry preserves along with cooked vegetables and meats in Mason jars
It had wide wooden counters upon which breads, pastries, cakes and pies were always being made by Eva and Aunt Lillian. It was the heart of the farmhouse and was my favorite room.
Walking through the pantry, you would find other stairs, following those that led up; you would enter ballroom with dusty maple wood floors where at one time music and guests would mingle. It had been abandoned since the Great Depression. There, in one corner of the ballroom, was a small gabled room that I was forbidden to enter.
It was the armory and contained many guns and swords, and a wonderful collection of model airplanes hanging from the ceiling. They belonged to Andy who was in the army fighting the Germans in the war to end all wars.
The other stairs that went down led to the woodshed where huge piles of oak, birch, ash, and other woods were neatly stacked for drying. All to be fed to the kitchen stove and the monster furnace that sat in a small stone walled room in the basement .Then there was the root cellar that containing the kegs of salt pork, smoked hams, bags of burlap full of Russet potatoes, mounds of straw and earth covering carrots, cabbages, and turnips that would see the Guinesso family, a half dozen foster children and a hired hand through the quiet and cold New Hampshire winter.
Going from the woodshed and to the right, there led a stone walkway to the toilet and its unforgettable smell. Its seat was made of a single wooden plank with three well polished holes cut into it – two large and one small for the children. A can of lye sat next to the old catalogs that we used for toilet paper.
Past the wooden toilet door with a half moon cut into it for light, this corridor continued...It passed by bridles, harnesses and rows of tools hanging from spikes driven in the walls. It ended at the ice house and a large ice-filled cooler in which bobbed silvery metal jugs full of rich whole milk which provided money to maintain the Farm.
The icehouse was built of thick hand sawn planks insulated with the sawdust to keep the precious ice, harvested every winter from Lake Massabesic
. That ice once stored, served as refrigeration for the milk, meat and the household icebox. The icehouse door was closed and locked to guard against anyone leaving it open and I had been warned not to go in there.
Beyond it was the huge red barn with the stalls for the animals. On one side were the stalls for the gentle enormous draft horses named Dolly and Molly.
On the other side, the stanchions of the many dairy cattle and a large brown and white Jersey bull with a shiny brass ring in his nose. How I tortured the animal by whacking its balls with a stick Above the stanchions and stalls were the floors of the hayloft where the sweet red clover hay when cut and dried; would be use to feed the animals through the winter. I love playing in the loft and it was one of my favorite places to hide when I got into trouble.
In the barn were grain bins full of oats for Dolly and Molly and the mice. There was dried corn which was fed sparingly to all the chickens, ducks and geese and turkeys that wandered around the farmyard. Several black and tan hunting hounds were chained to small houses nearby where they could remain warm and dry when the bitter winter settled in.
Lastly there was the collie dog that was allowed to enter the kitchen but had to sleep out at night. She slept in the crawl space by the wood shed under the porch. Her name was Lassie and she was my best companion and friend.
The end part one
PS, As my wife was preparing tax forms she told me that I had made ten dollars royalties from the sale of my book. I have no idea who you are that bought a copy but I thank you.
Here are a couple of new paintings to brighten your day.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg oil paintings 004.jpg (78.8 KB, 0 views)
File Type: jpg Ocean Fury.jpg (42.5 KB, 0 views)
__________________
"What a large volume of adventures may be grasped within this little span of life by him who interests his heart in everything"-Lawrence Sterne
Reply With Quote
  #103  
Old 03-20-2014, 07:44 AM
joseph engraver's Avatar
joseph engraver joseph engraver is offline
Platinum
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Sarzana,Italy
Posts: 562
Default Re: The farm part 2

Life on the farm

Within this complex lived my Great Aunt Lillian, her husband Andrew, their teenage sons - Carl, Bob and their daughter Eva There was also Earl, he was the hired hand. He dressed in bib overalls, had a long ragged beard and chewed tobacco. He gave me some one day and laughed as a spit it out in disgust.
It did not take Carl and Bob long to learn that with a small amount of teasing I could be brought to tears. “Bastard, bastard, you piss the bed at night and cry like a baby all day” They would tease; I would run to their mother. She would console me and scold them. Then she would fix for me what was called a sugar-titty, which consisted of a large dollop of butter mixed with sugar wrapped in pieces of gauze which I would then suck on. I never experienced a day of hunger on the farm and I became a very fat child.
I loved life on the farm when I was with my Aunt. I would always accompany her to collect eggs and soon knew where every hen and goose had made its nest. I would help her peeling apples for pies. We would go for walks to find wild strawberries, black, and blue berries, and concord grapes for desserts and jams and as I grew she would send me on those adventures alone.
Earl was always kind to me, showed me how to peel a birch tree and make small bark canoes and to make a flute from a tree branch.
At evening time after supper in the parlor there was the big Phillips radio with its glowing dial where I could sit in front of and listen to the adventures of ‘The Lone Ranger’.
I would stay up and wait for the announcer to say ‘And from out of the past comes the thundering hoof beats of the great horse Silver. The Lone Ranger rides again.’ Sometimes I would also listen to The Green Hornet, The Shadow, Amos and Andy and others that are too dim in my memory to recall.
There was also a small square game table in the parlor, with eagle’s claws grasping round balls of green glass at the ends of its spindly legs. I would sit there for hours working on picture puzzles, playing games, pickup sticks, Chinese checkers, and Tic-Tack-Toe with Eva and sometimes my Great Aunt.
Uncle Andrew taught me how to play checkers and I would sometimes play with him on the sun porch. In the afternoon he always sat in his white wicker rocker, reading newspapers and smoking Bugler tobacco from a corncob pipe. I don’t ever recall seeing him cut or split wood, wash a dish or help my aunt. His job was to drive the yellow school bus and oversee the farm.
It was Uncle Andrew’s custom to get shaved every Saturday afternoon, when I was three or four this became a great entertainment for me.
. Every Saturday afternoon when it was time for Andrew’s shave, a pan of water would be put on the stove. White towels placed on the kitchen table; a chair set up in the middle of the room. Andrew’s cup of shaving soap would be brought down from the cupboard next to the sink. His razor strap hung on a nail, and I had learned great respect for it. The straight razor was stropped, the hot towels readied, and heated water was put in to his shaving mug. Then Auntie would tell me, “Go and get Andrew from the sunroom.”
The thing I remember most distinctly of Andrew was his huge nose. It protruded from his big head, had pimples and looked like a zucchini. He always wore blue bib overalls with a silver pocket watch in his breast pocket.
I looked at that nose every Saturday for all the years that I was there.
Other children came to live on the farm, one a boy who became my friend named Sammy. We would gather on the top step by the warm cook stove and watch Andrew get lathered. My Aunt would dip the brush into the shaving mug then she would cover his face with lather, then she would take the straight razor and start to shave.
First his side burns and then his jaw while we waited for the best part of all. Andrew’s nose was so big that in order to shave under it my Aunt had to grab it and lift it up. Then she shaved his upper lip making us all giggle. Andrew would glare at me and Sammy as he sat with shaving soap still on his face. We would never dare laugh at Andrew for he was very big and mean and we were afraid of him.
So it came to be one day as the year went by, when Saturday came and it was time for Andrew’s shave, I would sit on that step and pray to God with all my might, that my Aunt would slit his throat while she held him by the nose.
__________________
"What a large volume of adventures may be grasped within this little span of life by him who interests his heart in everything"-Lawrence Sterne
Reply With Quote
  #104  
Old 03-25-2014, 03:57 AM
joseph engraver's Avatar
joseph engraver joseph engraver is offline
Platinum
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Sarzana,Italy
Posts: 562
Default Sammy and Me

Here is another bit of this story about "The Farm" along with a new painting I am working on.

Sammy and Me
At one time there were five or six other children living on the farm. Sammy was the smallest and would follow me everywhere. He was not smart and could not talk very well.
I was not afraid of Sammy but Sammy was terrified of the big gray gander that Aunt Lillian was raising for Christmas. It was a mean bird and would fly at anyone smaller than it, honking and hissing and beating you with its wings. It had frightened me also and my Aunt told me to hit it with a stick and it would leave me alone, so I got a stick and whacked it. After that it left me alone.
Sammy and I were near the peach trees when the goose saw us. It came running across the barnyard its black beak open hissing at us, its neck extended. Sammy got his self behind me. And together we charged, yelling as loud as we could I hit it with my stick and chased the goose away. That’s how Sammy and I became best friends.
One of our childhood diversions was to gather around the stalls and wait for Dolly or Molly to pee. We would wait for the lifting of her great tail. She would stiffen and a cascade of streaming urine would fall splattering any one too close.
Once the river dried she would pucker her vaginas lips, making us laugh with much glee. In the summer I would take the pair of horses to a spring down the dirt road for water. One day I was leading the horses; I got myself too close to Molly and she accidentally stepped on my bare foot. I limped for a while and discovered that I could obtain a little sympathy from my pain. People would ask why I was limping and I would explain that Molly had stepped on my foot. They would feel sorry for me, so even after it no longer was painful, I continued to limp. I told Eva my secret, and she said, “Joey, you have to stop.”
“Why Eva?” I wanted to know.
She said, “Because you will walk that way for the rest of your life.” So I stopped.
Chickens also provided Sammy and me entertainment. The war was going strong and we heard about bombs, parachutes, airplanes, and snipers. Sammy and I would catch the chickens and tie a rock around their legs, carry them up to the highest point in the barn and drop them with their wings flapping and fluttering. “My parachute just crashed on the battlefields of Holland,” I would scream at Sammy. This lasted until my Aunt found out.
The three-hole toilet also served as a fun house for us kids. We would make small paper boats, drop them down the holes. And then proceed to either drown the Japs in urine, or sink the Germans submarines with our turd bombs.
I had started sneaking into the armory just to admire the model airplanes. I would stay there for long periods of time, holding them in my hand, imagining flying them. There was an old black powder rifle with a big hammer on its side. I would lay it on the cot; cock the hammer and fly my airplane wing under it; pull the trigger and my anti-aircraft gun would shoot down a German Messersmit. I was in there horsing around when I discovered some shells. I found one that sort of fitted, loaded it into the gun’s chamber and lay down on the cot with my sniper rifle at the ready. I pointed it out the window overlooking the backyard. I took aim at the coonhound’s doghouse and waited for a Jap to appear. And when he did, I was going to be ready for him. It was a long wait and nothing moved. Finally I decided on a chicken that was peacefully pecking ants. I took aim, squeezed the trigger. The window glass cracked, a round neat hole appeared in the center. The smell of gunpowder filled the room. The report of the rifle all but deafened me. My Auntie started yelling from down below in the pantry. She came up the stairs and caught me red-handed; grabbed me by my ear and took me down to the kitchen; got out Andrew’s razor strap and laid it on me. It hurt, but I knew I deserved it.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg prelim drawing 001.jpg (62.6 KB, 0 views)
File Type: jpg oil paintings 001.jpg (58.9 KB, 0 views)
File Type: jpg The Glass Cage.jpg (55.7 KB, 0 views)
__________________
"What a large volume of adventures may be grasped within this little span of life by him who interests his heart in everything"-Lawrence Sterne
Reply With Quote
  #105  
Old 04-15-2014, 05:20 AM
joseph engraver's Avatar
joseph engraver joseph engraver is offline
Platinum
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Sarzana,Italy
Posts: 562
Default Re:School

Here are a couple of new paintings and a bit more of my writings.
I am not sure whether I like the paintings. They certainly cause me to think in different ways. I Hope you find them interesting. As for the writing: biggrin
School
It is odd how some incidents are so stark that you can still vividly remember their smells and tastes seventy years later.
One taste that the thought of school brings to my mind so sharply is that of raw horse radish.
Big white horse radishes grew behind the kitchen where the sink drain water flowed. They were very hot and I did not like them.
There was kept on the kitchen table, a jar of ground horseradish. One morning as I was getting ready for school the brothers Bob and Carl way-laid me in the kitchen, got me down on the floor and started stuffing tablespoons of ground horse radish in my mouth. I fought, I bit, I kicked, and spit and I swallowed several spoons full of horse radish.
Over the years I have forgotten and forgiven them, but never the horse radish. Strangely, I love the stuff, and always have it available as a condiment.
By the time I was old enough to start school I was a tough little farm boy that in a fight could take it, and dish it out as well.
Bob, who was the youngest of Andrew’s sons, went to school with me and made no bones about telling his friends that I was a liar, a bastard ,and a crybaby. I would listen to the taunts of my classmates and be brought to tears, Fights came and went, and I sat for many hours on a tall stool facing the corner wearing the dunce’s tall red hat.
Despite my personal skirmishes, I liked school and was a bright student. I quickly learned to read, write, and won the spelling bee. When the teacher discovered that I was the only one in my class left-handed, she determined to correct my wrong handed deficiency, and another shame was placed on my shoulders I was made to feel that I did not fit. I guess that was when I started to hate God
A pencil was put in my right hand and a penny was then placed upon the top of my wrist, then I was told to write that way. If the penny fell off I would get rapped on the wrist with a wooden ruler. Eventually I learned to write right-handed, until the day fate intervened.
Some of the school boys had put a long wooden plank against the schoolhouse wall and were seeing how far up it they could run. They dared me to go up it. I took off running and got part way when they kicked the plank out from underneath me. Down I went, landing with a thump, the plank following. It landed on my right arm and broke it in two while my classmates laughed. When I returned to school with my arm in a cast the teacher relented and let me write with my left hand.

Joseph
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Abstract #2.jpg (86.4 KB, 0 views)
File Type: jpg The right eye of God 001.jpg (72.2 KB, 0 views)
__________________
"What a large volume of adventures may be grasped within this little span of life by him who interests his heart in everything"-Lawrence Sterne
Reply With Quote
  #106  
Old 04-23-2014, 09:36 AM
joseph engraver's Avatar
joseph engraver joseph engraver is offline
Platinum
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Sarzana,Italy
Posts: 562
Default Chet the hermit

Chet the Hermit
In the summer when school was out, I would be sent to pick berries in the swamp near to an old hermit’s house. His name was Chet; he was a strange and quiet man who lived close by the farm in a house that he had built for himself of milled pine boards and tarpaper. Chet had mountains of books, newspapers, and old booze bottles in his tarpaper home. We spent many hours talking, for he was lonely and I was a good listener, which is how we became friends. He showed me how to play chess, and one time told me that when he was walking past Beaver Lake he could hear the catfish meowing.
I believed him and the next day I told my friend Sammy that catfish could meow.
But when I told this to my Aunt she said that Chet heard these kinds of things when he had too much whiskey to drink.
Once in a while when he needed money or a good meal he would stop at the farmhouse to do odd chores and my Aunt Lillian would find him something to do. He always wore dirty brown bib overalls, a bushy gray beard with tobacco stains, an old felt hat and high top laced boots, chewed tobacco, and he smelled moldy. He told me that he was hiding from his past and a wife who lived in Boston. When I asked him about God he told me I should not expect any help from God, as God was a myth.
It was during my last year living on the farm that a young girl was found dead, raped, strangled and discarded naked in a snow bank near Chet’s place. Of course everyone suspected Chet. I know Chet didn’t do it, and the murderer was never found. What I know for sure is that Chet never slapped, cursed or molested me or told me that I was God damned.
For many years of my life I have had nightmares about this murder.
I dream of children buried under stone walls that were the boundaries of Andrew’s barn. I’d dream that I am flying high in the air and can see Andrew hiding like a white tiger behind a stone wall; I can see a young girl walking on the pathway. She is carrying a shiny bucket with berries in it. I can that Andrew is nude, his white skin glows. Then he sees me hiding in the tree branches where I have perched, he looks up at me, smiles. I fly to the safety of the hay loft in the barn and awake in a puddle of my curse.

Spring is here my roses are in bloom, I am in good spirits and soon will be doing a two week solo art exhibit at a mall nearby. Here is another painting that I hope you will like. Springtime Waltz
Attached Images
File Type: jpg SPRING TIME WALTZ 001.jpg (103.5 KB, 0 views)
__________________
"What a large volume of adventures may be grasped within this little span of life by him who interests his heart in everything"-Lawrence Sterne
Reply With Quote
  #107  
Old 05-20-2014, 03:36 PM
joseph engraver's Avatar
joseph engraver joseph engraver is offline
Platinum
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Sarzana,Italy
Posts: 562
Default The Farm The End

I was five when my half sister Helen arrived at the farm. She was brought there by my mother. I think it was the first time I saw my mother, I remember vividly that day and the arrival of my half sister. Everyone was cooing and looking at her. My mother was holding the baby, smiling at her. Walking beside her was a tall man wearing the Army uniform, he was holding his service cap in one hand and the baby basket in the other as my mother introduced him to Andrew, and my Aunt Lillian. She called me over to her and told me that this man was my Father. I stared in fascination at this stranger in his uniform with stripes and medals on his chest and a large birthmark on his left cheek. I was so curious about the birth mark that I asked my mother about it. Her answer was “God had given it to him so that he would be recognized when your father Ernest went to heaven”. The baby was carried into the sunroom then placed in the new white wicker basket. It was then I got to see her for the first time, wrapped in a soft pink blanket and wearing a little white knitted cap. Her fingers were tiny and pink and curled into fists. She smelled of rose water. She stayed for a long time, almost three years.
Not long after the arrival of Helen came my best friend Sammy, and later other bigger kids, but they only stayed for a summer.
Sammy, the bigger boys and me all slept in the old ballroom, while my new sister took my place in Aunt Lillian´s room.
I on a cot wrapped in a quilt made of silk ties that had that my scent impregnated into it. It was almost a rag but it was warm and smooth to the touch, I called it my cold blanket.
One night someone got into my bed and tried to have sex with me. I resisted until finally he got my arms twisted behind my back and pinned me face down. It hurt terribly and when he finished he whispered. ”You tell on me and I will kill you”, then he punched me.
After it was all over and I lay whimpering on my cot, the realization came to me that this must be how people got pregnant.
I had seen pregnant people, with their distended bellies. I imagined myself with a big belly and a baby coming out of my rectum. The more I thought of it the worse it got – until I got out of the bed, took my cold blanket, wrapped it around me, and went downstairs to hide in the woodpile.
If I climbed up to the top of it I could crawl under the porch in the space where Lassie stayed at night. I could smell the dirt, and then could smell Lassie as I dragged my blanket in with me. Now I could smell the puppies and Lassie licked my face, and I felt a bit better. I did not come out even though I heard them call for me. I did not come out for my morning chores or school, I only came out when I was so hungry I had to and I never told my aunt Lillian why.
I was now sure that God did not care for me and I would never ever go to heaven.
Molestation is demeaning and takes away your childhood happiness. Rape committed in the dark by some faceless person is terrorizing. After it is over you have no one to trust and you are afraid of anyone who touches you. This was my case and from that point on the only friends I had were Sammy and Lassie
While I lived at the farm, two children were killed. One child was killed when her grandfather ran her over with his truck while backing up. I was there to see my Aunt Lillian crying and hear Eva wailing as the little body was picked up from the dirt yard. One was my friend Sammy who got kicked in the head. It was Andrew, the corrupter of children that found him in the horses stall with the imprint of a horseshoe on the left side of his head and face; I was there to see his bloody body when Andrew carried my friend Sammy into the kitchen. That is when I came to hate God. These are some of the good and bad memories that I took with me when my Mother and Stepfather Ernest came to take Helen and me away from my beloved Aunt Lillian and the farm I spent my childhood on. I know that my story is not very different from many others that have been abused in their childhood. I sincerely hope that if this is your case. This story will give you courage to tell some stranger your dark and destroying secrets. It can and will change your life
The Farm
The End
__________________
"What a large volume of adventures may be grasped within this little span of life by him who interests his heart in everything"-Lawrence Sterne
Reply With Quote
  #108  
Old 06-02-2014, 02:14 PM
joseph engraver's Avatar
joseph engraver joseph engraver is offline
Platinum
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Sarzana,Italy
Posts: 562
Default Art showing

The showing actually lasted three weeks due to the request of management-The time spent there was at first exciting then slowly it became work, finally it was boring as attendance was slow. However I did have some very nice compliments and that made it all worthwhile. In order to make time pass quickly I did a few drawing and one landscape painting. I hope you will find them interesting. Writing about the Farm was not an easy thing for me to do, but I felt that it may be of help to someone.
Thank you all for taking the time to read my stories and buying my book, I sincerely appreciate it
Attached Images
File Type: jpg new work 005.jpg (81.3 KB, 0 views)
File Type: jpg new work 006.jpg (53.8 KB, 0 views)
File Type: jpg new work 003.jpg (99.6 KB, 0 views)
File Type: jpg new work 004.jpg (97.4 KB, 0 views)
File Type: jpg new work 002.jpg (89.6 KB, 0 views)
File Type: jpg Leaving All Behind.jpg (59.3 KB, 0 views)
__________________
"What a large volume of adventures may be grasped within this little span of life by him who interests his heart in everything"-Lawrence Sterne
Reply With Quote
  #109  
Old 07-04-2014, 04:27 AM
joseph engraver's Avatar
joseph engraver joseph engraver is offline
Platinum
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Sarzana,Italy
Posts: 562
Default The Black Nuns

Here is the start of a new painting; it is of my Guardian Angel Great Aunt Lillian. I am working from a 3x4 black and white photo. I have taken this photo everywhere with me for many years. I have finally worked up the courage to try and paint her image on canvas.
And here is another story that I hope you will enjoy
I left the farm and Great Aunt Lillian I was taken to live with my new found mother and my stepfather Ernest in a long grey apartment building in Nashua, New Hampshire. As I was a stranger to my mother and stepfather it must have been a shock for them to learn that I was not house trained.
It was not a happy occasion for me also as I now had a mother that I did not know, and a father that I immediately did not like or trust who was determined to sever me from my curse.
He would wake me up in the middle of the night to go to the toilet and stand over me while I tried to urinate, but that did not work out well for me or him.
In exasperation he showed me a big butcher knife and threatened to cut it off .I can tell you this did not help my bladder to function one drop better.
Finally at his whit´s end he took me in his car to the Canal Street Bridge then held me over the side. “You see that river down there? If you don’t stop pissing the bed, I’m going to throw you in it.” I looked down into the black waters swirling below me and promised him that I would... He put me back in the car and drove home .I went to bed where the nightmares continued and the fountain of youth flowed.
Ernest, who was Catholic, but never went to church, placed me in a boys school which ended my time living with my new parents...
I remember that house with the cross on the top and the black habits of the determined nuns clearly. It was a large silent two-story building made of dark red bricks and black cold stone floors. On the chapel wall was a dead man wearing a diaper, he was nailed by the hands and feet to a wooden cross and there was blood dripping from a large cut in his side. On the opposite wall adjacent to him was hung a picture his heart wrapped in a wreath of thorns..
I decided that cut in his side was where the nuns had taken his heart out.. I can tell you that all this put the fear of God in me.
After I was told that the man on the cross was Jesus Christ and he was Gods son I thought, if this is what was done to Gods own son what were those nuns going to do to me?
I was taken to the shower room and told to strip off my clothes. I showered while a nun watched to make sure I did .Once clean and dry I was given blue short sleeved shirts ,black trousers, grey socks, sweater ,black shoes a red necktie and new under wear. Then I was taken to the dormitory, showed my new bed with white sheets and locker to place all my new cloths in.
I had heard of the Nazi torture camps and was now sure that my fate had been sealed and I was a prisoner of the nuns.
The next place I was taken to was the cafeteria with long wooden tables and benches. Three times each day before every meal we boys wearing the same uniforms would all kneel on those stone floors and say our prayers. ‘Hail Mary full of Grace; The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not want, Holy Mary mother of God pray for our sins’ and let me tell you that I had a lot of sins
I hated it, I hated the prayers, I hated the nuns with their black dresses and crosses with a dead Jesus hanging from their necks, and I hated the nightclothes I was made to wear.
Most of all I hated the dormitory where every night the nuns would tie a towel around my waist and make a big knot in the middle of my back. This was to keep me from sleeping on my back, which was supposed to keep me from wetting the bed. No water after supper was also another of the nun’s nightly rules. I would go to bed every night to snickers and laughs of the other boys.. All of this misery and still I soaked the bed like Old Faithful.
I do not know if the nuns gave up on me or what happened, but one day Ernest came to the school and I was set free.
When I was returned to Gillis Street, I had a big surprise: a new baby sister. Her name is Vivian. She was born pre-maturely and weighed only three pounds and four ounces. She spent many weeks of her tiny life inside of an incubator. Once in a while I would go with my mother to the hospital to see her. The arrival of Vivian and the attention she required changed my life considerably, for the better.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg aunt lillian 001.jpg (49.0 KB, 0 views)
File Type: jpg 001.jpg (33.5 KB, 0 views)
__________________
"What a large volume of adventures may be grasped within this little span of life by him who interests his heart in everything"-Lawrence Sterne
Reply With Quote
  #110  
Old 07-23-2014, 10:10 AM
joseph engraver's Avatar
joseph engraver joseph engraver is offline
Platinum
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Sarzana,Italy
Posts: 562
Default The Class Dunce

The Class Dummy
Three blocks away from the long gray apartments I lived in on Gillis Street was the new the school I attended. It was much different from the two room country school where I started my education. There were six grades and many more children.
I had come from a school where everything was printed I had no trouble with the math, and reading provided it was printed. At my new school nothing was printed, all was written in cursives on the blackboard and it was to me an incomprehensible bunch of squiggles. This made the third grade very difficult; consequently I became the dummy of the class.
One morning on my way to school I stopped at the corner store and bought a stick of chewing gum and popped it into my mouth. The teacher soon noticed it and took the gum away from me, admonishing me that if I could have a piece of gum so should the rest of the class.
I had seen money in a jar by the newspaper stand where early in the morning people would pick up their papers and drop in a nickel or a dime into the jar and continue on to work. One day I stuck my hand in that jar and took as much change as I could get out. Then I went into the store and bought all the chewing gum my loot would purchase. I took the bag of goodies to school, and like Santa Claus started handing out gum. Soon every kid in class had a piece, while I, the hero of the day, sat at my desk chewing happily away. My joy in new found friendships lasted all school day, but on my arrival home I was faced by my mother and the teacher. At school I had of course lied to the teacher and said that my mother had given me the money. The teacher being much smarter than me had stopped by to check the veracity of my claim with my mother and I was caught up in my lie. When my new stepfather came home I got my whipping, then marched by my mother to the grocery store and made to confess. I was punished for my sin and had to work after school delivering milk and eggs to the people’s houses that lived nearby until my debt was paid. It was a very good lesson and I learned to be a better liar.
Adoption papers were filed. I stood in the Catholic Church while the priest sprinkled Holy Water on me and christened me. “Joseph Robert Lavernois’ in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Ghost, Amen. I now at the age of nine finally had a real father that I did not like...
Ernest’s family was much larger than my mother’s. He had six brothers and four sisters. I acquired overnight a couple of dozen cousins, aunts, uncles, and a grandmother with a beard under her chin and one leg.
Grandmother Agnes had lost one leg to gangrene; she had an artificial one that was kept in the hall closet. Sometimes, when I visited her she would have me put her leg away or fetch it out for her so she could strap it on. My Grandpa Oscar spent lots of time playing pool and drinking boilermakers in the workman’s bar. I really liked him and I looked forward to his visits because he would always give me a 25-cent piece.
There were good times on Gillis Street with family picnics in the back yard on Saturday. There was the penny anti poker games in the evenings.
I slept in my own room upstairs and on weeknights Ernest’s brothers would come to our apartment to drink beer and play poker. In the hall was a vent that let the heat from the kitchen warm the upstairs. That hole was over the kitchen table where the gambling was going on. I would crawl out of bed and tiptoe to the vent lay down next to it and watch. From my spot I could see the cards the players were holding
My mother was a good player and sometimes I would see her rake in a mountain of pennies and nickels. I did this for many weeks without being noticed. One night my mother was holding four Aces; I got so excited that I said out loud “four aces.” And that’s how I learned poker, and caught the gambling bug which I still have to this day, and then got my butt whipped.
It was while I lived on Gillis Street I started earning money in the summer riding the running boards of a big green produce wagon that serviced the homes of the working class neighborhood. Mr. Garibaldi would drive his truck slowly up and down the streets with me and other kids sitting on the front fenders or standing on the running boards. He would stop at the curb and we would all take off running, going from one apartment to another taking orders for bananas, melons, potatoes, tomatoes, fresh corn, everything he had in the truck. We would run up the sidewalks yelling, “Fruits and vegetables for sale,” take the people’s orders and run back to Mr. Garibaldi, yelling as we ran. “Ten cents worth of onions and fifteen cents of potatoes.” He would fill the orders and we would run back singing. “Fruits and vegetables, my pockets full of pennies”. Then in the winter I would shovel people’s driveways and sidewalks clear of snow. Mother kept my money. When school ended I was not advanced.
The painting is almost completed now. It turned out reasonably well. I am sure that my Great Aunt Lillian has been looking over my shoulder as I worked
Thank you for looking and reading
Attached Images
File Type: jpg 001.jpg (40.8 KB, 0 views)
File Type: jpg Great Aunt Lillian 001.jpg (57.6 KB, 0 views)
__________________
"What a large volume of adventures may be grasped within this little span of life by him who interests his heart in everything"-Lawrence Sterne
Reply With Quote
  #111  
Old 08-06-2014, 10:24 AM
joseph engraver's Avatar
joseph engraver joseph engraver is offline
Platinum
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Sarzana,Italy
Posts: 562
Default The Day God Found Me

Here is a new painting and another short story.
There is a roadhouse on the outskirts of Lynchburg where the beers are cold and the bands are loud but good. It is a rough and tumble place with a red tin roof, called the 501
Club.
The owner was a woman who had seen all of humanity at its
worst. Drunkenness, fistfights, knife fights, gunfights, fornication, you name it,
Grandmotherly Bea had seen it all. Bea sat in front of the swinging doors to the saw dusted, wood dance floor. If you wanted to dance
you paid the $3 fee with no exceptions.
That Saturday night Red dressed in her sexy jade green pantsuit and white high-heeled dancing boots.
I dressed in jeans, white shirt and brought along a sketchpad and drawing pen.
When we arrived, I drove the Pinto into the nearly full parking lot, found a space near the back.
Parked, then walked around and opened the door for Red.
Together, hand around waist; we made our way into the bar of the 501 Club.
Red and I had been here several times and we were on first name terms with Bea.
I knew that Bea would never let us into the dance floor without collecting the cover charge.
All the money I had was a ten-dollar bill and a few crumpled ones.
I gave them to Red.
“If we both go in to dance, there won’t be enough for two beers. You take it.
Go in, and have a good time. Meanwhile I’ll try to make a few dollars doing portrait
sketches and when I get some money, I’ll join you.”
She smiled; I kissed her and watched her disappear through the swinging
door that Bea stood guard over.
It turned out there wasn’t a redneck in the place interested in having their
Likeness put down onto paper, so I sat at the bar, did quick sketches of the pool
Player´s and listened to the music of the band.
Only one woman was interested in a portrait but she had no money, I settled the price of the sketch at one Coke and a bag of peanuts.
I was roughing out the shape of the woman’s head and the volume of her
hair, noting the details of her face when that I noticed she had a badly cleft
lip.
As I sketched I minimized the deformity. Once the drawing was completed
and before I gave it to her, I checked it over once again. It was only then
I noticed that one of her eyes was way out of alignment.
I looked at her face again. This time I saw her as a whole object rather than form and shadow. It was not until that moment that I saw she had a distorted head.
She was very happy with the sketch and asked me to sign it, which I did she took the drawing, looked intently at it, cooed, then said, “You’re just the sweetest fella I ever did meet.” Shortly after that, the band took its break. Red appeared, followed by a tall well-dressed but slightly drunk man. I got down from the barstool and greeted them. Red introduced me. “Mac this is my husband Joseph, Mac is from Alabama.” We said hello and shook hands. Then Red said, “Mac has a new van, its outside.
Want to see it?”
“Sure,” I replied.
We went out to look at Mac’s new van. After spending time admiring the plush interior, and fully stocked bar. I decided it was a bedroom with wheels.
We left the parking lot and walked back into the 501club where the band was
preparing for its next set.
Red wanted to know if I had made any money. I explained, no one had money to spend on portrait sketches. I gave her the little change I had left, encouraged her to go dance and have a good time, kissed her, and walked her to the swinging doors of the dancehall.
Time passed quickly while sitting on that barstool. I was through sketching the back bar with its glass, bottles, mirrors, reflections and lights, when the music ended and the partygoers started coming out the swinging doors.
I put away the sketchbook and pen and sat waited for Red to show up.
Soon the crowd began to dwindle and alas, there was no one left.
“What the hell?” I thought. “I better see what’s going on..”
I walked over to the now-open doors.
A very empty dance floor greeted me.
The only people around were the band members and a big guy with a broom pushing a mountain of bottles, cans, and assorted trash towards a garbage can.
I walked over to the woman’s room, knocked on the door, and then peeked inside.
“Red, are you in here” No answer. “Hey, Red, are you OK?” no one there.
I was so sure she was in there that I entered and started looking in the stalls to see if she had passed out or was sick.
Empty.
Confused, I went back out on the dance floor. The band players had packed up and headed for the back door.
“Hey guys, you see a good looking redhead wearing a green pants suit?”
“Sure man, she left out the back door about a half an hour ago” someone from the band answered.
I was dumbstruck and blindsided. I had not seen it coming. I charged out the back door looking for my wife.
The only vehicles left in the darkened parking lot was my red Pinto
and the band’s pick up.
“He’s gotten her drunk and kidnapped her,” I thought as I ran around to the
other side of the club expecting to find Mac, his van and kidnapped wife.
It was empty and very deserted, abandoned, a black nothing.
I drove downtown, checking the all-night restaurants, the local motels, and
all-night establishment I could think of…all empty, totally void, no signs of Red or Mac’s rocking and rolling van.
Around 4 a.m., I called the Lynchburg police department and reported Red missing.
The person I talked too listened to this tale of woe and then asked me
for the details, when I mentioned the 501 club, he interrupted me.
“I see,” said the voice on the line sympathetically. “I’m sorry but we can’t help you now.”
“What do you mean you can’t help me now?” I groaned in desperation, “Some guy from Alabama’s got my wife?”
He explained, a missing person report could not be filed before twenty-four hours passed.
Despondent I drove back to our two months-behind in rent trailer
house, where our four-month-old Dobby greeted me.
She was whining and wiggling at my feet as I unlocked the kitchen door.
“Come here Tilly,” I muttered.
Picking her up and holding her to my chest, I carried her onto the sofa where I crashed, a deceived, confused, 41-year-old man.
I lay my distraught body down, and tried to sleep.
I lay awake, not moving, eyes open, staring upward at nothing, until the first colors of sunrise filtered through the Venetian blinds. Zombie-like, I got up, brushed
my teeth, fed Tilly, and went outside into the cold morning air.
In the yard grew a tall magnolia tree, its branches reaching heavenward, solid and black.
Beneath it I prayed, “Please, let Red be OK. Let me find her.
“GOD! I DO NOT DESERVE THIS PUNISHMENT”; I screamed at the top of my lungs.
There was no answer.
I returned to the trailer house, took a sheet of paper from my sketchpad, and wrote:
Red,
I don’t know what was going on last night. I have been looking for you. If you come home and find this note, I’ll be back.
We can straighten this out.
Love, Joseph
I tore off the sheet of paper from the tablet and taped it to the front door in full sight, petted Tilly, got in the Pinto, and drove back to Lynchburg.
I started back at the 501 Club, and then drove out of town looking in every motel parking lot for Mac’s van.
North, south, east and west I drove. Every minute, every mile , driving me further into the deepest black despair.
I found nothing, not a trace, it was late in the afternoon when I finally
gave up and returned home, worried and exhausted.
I pulled into the dirt driveway where Tilly was waiting, the nub of her tail
wagging back and forth. I picked her up and walked to the door.
There on top of the note I had taped to the door was Red’s response
.Her elegant handwriting below my scribbled note. It said it all:
As Ronny Millsap says, “I wouldn’t have missed it for the world.” Gone to Alabama with Mac,
Love, Red
Those words in her delicate feminine writing struck like a sledgehammer with the knowledge that I was a complete failure. My mother was right. I was worthless. I brought grief wherever I went, I would never amount to anything.
I was a bastard. I was stupid, and would become someone special when hell froze over.
I gave up as I looked at Red’s note. I could go no further, and endure no more.
I turned around, Tilly still in my arms and walked back to the Pinto. I got in and drove a quarter of a mile to my neighbor’s house.
Somehow I managed to get myself together long enough to leave Tilly with them.
“My wife has left me,” I explained. “So I’m going away and I can’t take Tilly with me. Would you take care of her?”
They would take care of Tilly; they were honest, simple country people.
I could feel myself coming apart as I stood there, dog in my arms.
I put her down, returned to the still-running car, and drove off down the red dirt road and back to the highway that led to Lynchburg, Virginia.
A plan had formed in my mind. I was going to kill myself, no bullshit this
time, no outs. I was going to do it with the Pinto and make it look like an accident.
I did not want my children to bear the burden of a father who had blown
his brains all over hell. Besides, I did not have a working gun.
Yes, I knew exactly what I was about to do. Just a short distance from town was an overpass. It had two large support structures in the center of the highway. Those two towers of concrete and steel were going to be the final destination.
“Fxxx you God, Fxxx all of you and to hell with it” I yelled, then pressed the accelerator to the floor. I was less than a mile away from the final moment on earth, both hands gripping the steering wheel as if welded to it.
I was screaming at the top of my voice, not words, just piercing screams.
My foot on the accelerator pressing it to the floorboards, the Pinto was going as fast as it possibly could. Tears were streaming down my face so freely I could hardly see to drive.
Suddenly, the Pinto started to lose its forward movement.
Seventy-five the speedometer read, then sixty, then fifty, I was screaming and crying. I stomped on the gas. The engine roared but the car continued to go slower. Finally, I saw it was hopeless and pulled the car off the highway as it rolled to a dead stop.
By then, I had stopped screaming, but my foot still had the accelerator pushed to the floor the engine was still roaring. The transmission was in drive yet the car remained motionless.
I killed the engine, stepped out of the car, pounded on the hood, then giving the door a hard kick, I screamed to the sky, “God! What are you doing to me now?”
If that fluid line to the transmission had not broken at that precise moment, in another 5 seconds I would have destroyed myself.
Leaving the Pinto where it had stopped, I walked the few miles back to the trailer house.
A bottle of French Brandy sat on the top of the refrigerator. It was full and I considered getting drunk, but instead of taking it down and opening it, I sat down at the drawing table and stared in a zombie-like trance.
I may have sat that way for twenty minutes or twenty hours, I do not remember. I do not remember sleeping or eating.
I just sat reviewing my life, and those festers of shame that no one knew about.
The corruption of my childhood, my humiliating academic and military career, my inability to stay at one employment, the awful and tragic marriage and divorce that had left me bankrupt.
Everything swept away. My mother’s words, “I wish I never had you” reverberating in my ears.
Alone at the drawing table in that silent trailer house I wondered.
Who am I?
What am I?
The answer then came to me.
“You are Joseph, you are my creation.”
What is my purpose for living?
“To be happy, to be proud of yourself, to learn as much as you can while you are
on this earth. This is your reason, this is your purpose.”
Late Sunday evening I made a decision. I was going to continue learning to engrave. I was going to make myself a credit to the human race.
I was going to go Italy to learn
Attached Images
File Type: jpg The Fractured Man 002.jpg (61.4 KB, 0 views)
__________________
"What a large volume of adventures may be grasped within this little span of life by him who interests his heart in everything"-Lawrence Sterne
Reply With Quote
  #112  
Old 08-08-2014, 02:32 AM
Elmer Elmer is offline
Steel
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: Western Alaska
Posts: 21
Default Re: The Day God Found Me

Joseph i have followed your posts and studied your engraving as posted and shared here... i read your story as it played like a movie in my mind. thank you for sharing...

we each have a trial, a challenge , i think in the end it is how we deal with it.... some things in life really suck, but hey, life gives you a pile of crap.... fertilize the garden...

but in that moment the message came, you listened... i think you have succeeded ... you received your calling and fulfilled it...

thanks again for sharing.
Reply With Quote
  #113  
Old 09-03-2014, 07:49 AM
joseph engraver's Avatar
joseph engraver joseph engraver is offline
Platinum
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Sarzana,Italy
Posts: 562
Default Re: New studio

I have been living many days of my life with this man. He is a true positive human being. Never ceases to amaze me. I wonder what's up next.
Franca Facchetti
__________________
"What a large volume of adventures may be grasped within this little span of life by him who interests his heart in everything"-Lawrence Sterne
Reply With Quote
  #114  
Old 11-21-2014, 08:53 AM
joseph engraver's Avatar
joseph engraver joseph engraver is offline
Platinum
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Sarzana,Italy
Posts: 562
Default Re: New studio

Disturbed Hemispheres.
Been too busy thinking lately to paint .Then I got to thinking about thinking and this idea came into my mind.
The beard
Finally; after so many years of going through the daily routine of shaving I have quit.
It all started in protest to my dear wife´s indecision ( the reasoning behind the painting) as to what kind of a home she wants to become our permanent place to settle into. She is in the seemingly never ending quest for the perfect home. Meanwhile, I only want to grow roots, get fat , write and paint. For her this one is too noisy, the street is too narrow, and the traffic is too heavy. No matter that she is right, I am quite content here. I don’t need more than a small studio and a place to grow a vegetable garden.
The years of marriage have softened me, I am now and old lion with few teeth and not a lot of will power. I no longer drive a car and am content for her to be my chauffer.
Having been there and done everything that I wanted I have little desire to travel.
My bones are starting to ache, sexual desire has wilted away, and my chest is slowly sliding down to become integrated with my waistline. I suppose this is the lament of all old men, at least I like to think this is so.
Anyway, back to the beard.
It has been sprouting now for a month or so and even though it itches I am becoming quite fond of it. Especially since the other day when one of those mysterious creatures called woman said to me “Are you somebody famous” and a few days later while shopping for groceries another one gave the “Eye”. All of this sudden attention made me feels pretty good; my wife has also noticed this unusual attraction. She is taking drastic steps to see that it goes no further: For example, I am now getting coffee and breakfast served in bed. Her cooking has improved, not that it has ever been bad. It is just seems a bit better lately and for some reason, ever since the beard has blossomed I am exempt from washing dishes ,although I still remain in control of selecting the dinner wine, and setting the table.
Life is looking rosy, now that I have joined the unmotivated herd of lazy men who no longer daily shave.

What do you think?
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Disturbed Hemispheres.jpg (54.4 KB, 0 views)
File Type: jpg the beard2 001.JPG (178.0 KB, 0 views)
__________________
"What a large volume of adventures may be grasped within this little span of life by him who interests his heart in everything"-Lawrence Sterne
Reply With Quote
  #115  
Old 11-22-2014, 11:22 AM
Roger Bleile's Avatar
Roger Bleile Roger Bleile is offline
Platinum
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Kentucky
Posts: 1,672
Default Re: New studio

Joseph,

You look good with a beard. Should have grown it years ago.
__________________
C. Roger Bleile
Author of: American Engravers series of books. FEGA Historian and Founding Charter Member
http://www.engravingglossary.com/
Reply With Quote
  #116  
Old 11-22-2014, 01:53 PM
DKanger DKanger is offline
Platinum
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: West TN
Posts: 269
Default Re: New studio

Maybe you should change your name to Pablo!!
__________________
Dave Kanger

Some men are wise, some are other wise.
Reply With Quote
  #117  
Old 12-16-2014, 07:40 AM
joseph engraver's Avatar
joseph engraver joseph engraver is offline
Platinum
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Sarzana,Italy
Posts: 562
Default Re: New studio

Thank you Dave and Rodger. Rodger I am sure that you will appreciate this new post.
The secret mission and a woman of courage
We have sold our property in Mexico. It was done by my wife who went alone to a country that is beset by corruption and violence. In order to do this she had to drive over the very dangerous Italian mountain Chisa pass at night, fly out of Milano, connect in Amsterdam, land in Mexico City, take a commuter flight to Zihuatanejo, meet with attorneys who spoke no English, then travel by bus to the city on Chilpanzingo which is in the middle of protests and riots. There she met with the buyers and their attorneys and concluded the sale. After which she returned to Zihuatanejo to make sure the funds were safely in our bank account there. The next day without anyone knowing that she had accomplished the sale and before word went out that she had almost three million pesos, which made her a prime subject for kidnapping. She flew back to Mexico City, then to Paris and on to Milano. After a nights rest she drove again over the Chisa Pass and returned to my arms in time to celebrate my seventy-sixth birthday.
__________________
"What a large volume of adventures may be grasped within this little span of life by him who interests his heart in everything"-Lawrence Sterne
Reply With Quote
  #118  
Old 12-30-2014, 12:20 PM
Roger Bleile's Avatar
Roger Bleile Roger Bleile is offline
Platinum
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Kentucky
Posts: 1,672
Default Re: New studio

What a woman!
__________________
C. Roger Bleile
Author of: American Engravers series of books. FEGA Historian and Founding Charter Member
http://www.engravingglossary.com/
Reply With Quote
  #119  
Old 12-30-2014, 04:13 PM
Big-Un Big-Un is offline
Platinum
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Eden, NC
Posts: 541
Default Re: New studio

Keep the beard Joseph. I had a beard for almost thirty years, shaved it off to do commercial cooking, then grew it back almost 6 years ago. It came in white, everyone started calling me Santa, so I found a new career, other than engraving. Yours reminds me of a semi-famous artist , one of Spanish decent! AND, the women do find old men with beards attractive, to my wife's dismay. I just chuckle and enjoy the attention, from my wife and her reaction to the others.
Reply With Quote
  #120  
Old 02-20-2015, 10:24 AM
joseph engraver's Avatar
joseph engraver joseph engraver is offline
Platinum
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Sarzana,Italy
Posts: 562
Default Something Unique

We are almost settled into our new home here in Italy. It has been a long and frustrating process, but the end is in sight. While looking around the second hand shops for small detail to make the place interesting, I found this beautiful model of a eighteenth century French frigate. The detail work is so meticulous that I decided that it needed a place in my new studio .It was assembled in 1972 and has a serial number of 009 and is built to 1/75th scale ,I thought that you might also like a look at it and if you have any ideas for removing the dust that it has accumulated over the years, it would be appreciated.
I think the beard goes well with it .
Attached Images
File Type: jpg 004.JPG (144.6 KB, 0 views)
File Type: jpg 005.JPG (151.7 KB, 0 views)
File Type: jpg 006.JPG (162.0 KB, 0 views)
File Type: jpg 007.JPG (156.7 KB, 0 views)
File Type: jpg sailing ship 008.jpg (59.7 KB, 0 views)
File Type: jpg sailing ship 009.jpg (55.0 KB, 0 views)
File Type: jpg sailing ship 010.jpg (55.0 KB, 0 views)
__________________
"What a large volume of adventures may be grasped within this little span of life by him who interests his heart in everything"-Lawrence Sterne
Reply With Quote
  #121  
Old 02-21-2015, 09:30 AM
SEngraver SEngraver is offline
Platinum
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: UK.
Posts: 3,333
Default Re: New studio

Hi Joseph,
Thank you for the pictures,it is a lovely ship put together very nicely.There is alot put on that little ship ! It looks great on the table.
SE

__________________
Learn from those who know more than you do and teach those who know less than you do. - I.M.
Reply With Quote
  #122  
Old 02-21-2015, 09:14 PM
Cookie Cookie is offline
Gold
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Indiana
Posts: 131
Default Re: New studio

Joseph,
Renaissance Wax should be considered for your project . You can find it on line or google it . Thank you for the holiday greeting you sent . I am sorry I have not responded sooner . I am glad you have settled in and starting "another chapter" . A Happy and Healthy New Year to you and Franca! Best Regards Cookie
Reply With Quote
  #123  
Old 04-05-2015, 07:37 AM
joseph engraver's Avatar
joseph engraver joseph engraver is offline
Platinum
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Sarzana,Italy
Posts: 562
Default New Chapter

It has taken a while for me to get my new studio set up, what with moving (once again.)And finding and furnishing an empty apartment, and settling in. I can no longer call myself a Mexican gringo, nor do I feel that I am an American, and even though I find Italy to be a comfortable place to live, I certainly am not Italian, I discussed this with Franca and her solution is that I am an artist and many artists have the soul of a Gypsy, that I should not concern myself with the technicalities of life and enjoy painting. Here is something new that I am enjoying working on now that I am settled. I think of it as a motorized butterfly
I hope you will like it.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg kitchen.JPG (122.7 KB, 0 views)
File Type: jpg dining room.JPG (125.7 KB, 0 views)
File Type: jpg living area.JPG (118.7 KB, 0 views)
File Type: jpg Franca´s office.JPG (108.1 KB, 0 views)
File Type: jpg back terrace.JPG (139.0 KB, 0 views)
File Type: jpg bed room.JPG (126.6 KB, 0 views)
File Type: jpg flower s.JPG (142.1 KB, 0 views)
File Type: jpg Jacks favorite bush.JPG (148.5 KB, 0 views)
File Type: jpg neighbors.JPG (161.6 KB, 0 views)
File Type: jpg studio (2).JPG (123.8 KB, 0 views)
File Type: jpg studio.JPG (119.2 KB, 0 views)
File Type: jpg motorcycle in progress 003.jpg (68.4 KB, 0 views)
__________________
"What a large volume of adventures may be grasped within this little span of life by him who interests his heart in everything"-Lawrence Sterne
Reply With Quote
  #124  
Old 04-10-2015, 07:38 PM
Cookie Cookie is offline
Gold
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Indiana
Posts: 131
Default Re: New studio

Joseph ,
Very nice place you and Franca have now . I like the light , color and especially your paintings on the wall and other places . Your new piece of work is exciting for sure ! I am thinking Chris Botha, may be an inspiration to the motif of the painting . On second thought you have a great deal of bikes around you in Italy, an every day occurrence . Best Regards Cookie
Reply With Quote
  #125  
Old 04-10-2015, 08:05 PM
Roger Bleile's Avatar
Roger Bleile Roger Bleile is offline
Platinum
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Kentucky
Posts: 1,672
Default Re: New studio

Great looking home Joseph! Are you still in Sarzana?
__________________
C. Roger Bleile
Author of: American Engravers series of books. FEGA Historian and Founding Charter Member
http://www.engravingglossary.com/
Reply With Quote
  #126  
Old 04-20-2015, 07:52 AM
joseph engraver's Avatar
joseph engraver joseph engraver is offline
Platinum
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Sarzana,Italy
Posts: 562
Default Re: New studio

Steve, yes Chris Botha and his exciting motorcycle video is what got me interested in doing this painting.
Rodger, My new home is only 6 KM from the center of Sarzana, two hours from Gardone,30 min from Pisa and 15 min from the sea coast. I did a lot of research over the internet before selecting this area to live.Its climate is moderate, and there are many neat places to visit. Should you ever get to this part of Europe look me up.
The new painting is progressing
Attached Images
File Type: jpg motrocycle in progress.jpg (83.3 KB, 0 views)
__________________
"What a large volume of adventures may be grasped within this little span of life by him who interests his heart in everything"-Lawrence Sterne
Reply With Quote
  #127  
Old 05-16-2015, 06:54 AM
joseph engraver's Avatar
joseph engraver joseph engraver is offline
Platinum
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Sarzana,Italy
Posts: 562
Default Re: New studio

Today my youngest daughter arrives... She has found the courage to fly from New Mexico to spend two weeks with me and Franca. Plans are made for her to see Florence, Pisa, and Venice, Then visit castles, museums and tour the coast of Liguria. This will be the first time that I will be able to spend quality time with her as a Dad and I am hoping that she will find inspiration to take up painting. Here are a couple on new canvasses and the motorcycle completed.
Thank you for looking
Attached Images
File Type: jpg 002.jpg (80.8 KB, 0 views)
File Type: jpg finished works 004.jpg (75.8 KB, 0 views)
File Type: jpg jack 002.jpg (49.8 KB, 0 views)
File Type: jpg jack 004.jpg (55.8 KB, 0 views)
__________________
"What a large volume of adventures may be grasped within this little span of life by him who interests his heart in everything"-Lawrence Sterne
Reply With Quote
  #128  
Old 05-23-2015, 08:32 AM
joseph engraver's Avatar
joseph engraver joseph engraver is offline
Platinum
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Sarzana,Italy
Posts: 562
Default Pisa and Florence

After touring Pisa, the Uffizi and the Pitti Museums in Florence, and seeing the works of Raphael, Filippo Lippi, Titan, Leonardo da Vinci, Sandro Botticelli, Michelangelo, Ghirlandaio, Fra Angelico, Donatello, Cellini, and many more, I returned home to finish this painting of my dog.
With that eye opening trip, I have come to clearly understand that I will never be a painter of any great accomplishment.
I also now know the value of my life. According to a recent notice from the Italian Government, my wife can claim me as her dependent and will receive the sum of 9.75 Euro each month. I hope to spend it all on painting lessons, canvass, and wine. Here are a few pix from that trip.
Thank you for looking
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Boboli Gardens.jpg (63.7 KB, 0 views)
File Type: jpg Duomo 002.jpg (94.8 KB, 0 views)
File Type: jpg Duomo Florence.JPG (191.9 KB, 0 views)
File Type: jpg Effuzi Tizian.JPG (154.5 KB, 0 views)
File Type: jpg Effuzi.jpg (127.6 KB, 0 views)
File Type: jpg Florence 004.jpg (84.6 KB, 0 views)
File Type: jpg Florence.jpg (98.8 KB, 0 views)
File Type: jpg Pisa.jpg (79.2 KB, 0 views)
File Type: jpg Pitti Museum.jpg (96.8 KB, 0 views)
File Type: jpg porcelain Museum (2).jpg (62.7 KB, 0 views)
File Type: jpg porcelain Museum.JPG (154.2 KB, 0 views)
File Type: jpg porcelain.jpg (47.6 KB, 0 views)
File Type: jpg jack 003.jpg (59.0 KB, 0 views)
__________________
"What a large volume of adventures may be grasped within this little span of life by him who interests his heart in everything"-Lawrence Sterne
Reply With Quote
  #129  
Old 05-26-2015, 12:07 AM
Roger Bleile's Avatar
Roger Bleile Roger Bleile is offline
Platinum
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Kentucky
Posts: 1,672
Default Re: New studio

For one who loves art, there is no greater place than Italy, especially Florence.
__________________
C. Roger Bleile
Author of: American Engravers series of books. FEGA Historian and Founding Charter Member
http://www.engravingglossary.com/
Reply With Quote
  #130  
Old 06-26-2015, 04:42 AM
joseph engraver's Avatar
joseph engraver joseph engraver is offline
Platinum
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Sarzana,Italy
Posts: 562
Default Re: New studio

Rodger
One of the best things about Italy is the quality of the food .Art is nourishing for the mind, but does little to feed the body.
I looked at the preview of your new work, American Engravers III, congratulations; I am surprised at the most reasonable price. I am wondering how I can get a signed copy. I would like to give it to Dario Cortini who has taken over the reins at Giovanelli´s School. I think it would make an excellent present.
I continue to learn to paint; here are some of my newest efforts.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg The Cinquaterra hillside 001.jpg (114.7 KB, 0 views)
File Type: jpg last nights nightmare 001.jpg (84.8 KB, 0 views)
File Type: jpg Girl on A Scooter.jpg (39.7 KB, 0 views)
File Type: jpg Down Hill Run.jpg (91.8 KB, 0 views)
__________________
"What a large volume of adventures may be grasped within this little span of life by him who interests his heart in everything"-Lawrence Sterne
Reply With Quote
  #131  
Old 07-02-2015, 12:15 AM
Roger Bleile's Avatar
Roger Bleile Roger Bleile is offline
Platinum
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Kentucky
Posts: 1,672
Default Re: New studio

Joseph,

Dario will be receiving a copy of American Engravers III from the publisher. I presented him with a copy of my previous book when I was in Gardone in 2011.

Roger
__________________
C. Roger Bleile
Author of: American Engravers series of books. FEGA Historian and Founding Charter Member
http://www.engravingglossary.com/
Reply With Quote
  #132  
Old 07-20-2015, 12:08 PM
joseph engraver's Avatar
joseph engraver joseph engraver is offline
Platinum
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Sarzana,Italy
Posts: 562
Default Re: New studio

That is very considerate of you Rodger, .I thank you. I will be attending a wedding in Gardone soon. I will see Dario and give him your best regards. Here are two more paintings recently completed. "Summer Blonde" and Bugs on a Windscreen. Inspired by the month of July
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Summer Blonde 002.jpg (68.9 KB, 0 views)
File Type: jpg Bugs on a windscreen.jpg (66.8 KB, 0 views)
__________________
"What a large volume of adventures may be grasped within this little span of life by him who interests his heart in everything"-Lawrence Sterne
Reply With Quote
  #133  
Old 08-30-2015, 03:37 AM
joseph engraver's Avatar
joseph engraver joseph engraver is offline
Platinum
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Sarzana,Italy
Posts: 562
Default 2015 Milano Expo

The World Expo in Milano Italy It was a wonderful experience, and was something that I needed. To find and see new things, as my desire to paint had lost its momentum, and I found myself uninspired. That has changed after seeing the Expo and the Cirque Du Sole performance.
Having family here made it inexpensive and easy. Franca has calculated our total cost to be three hundred dollars including a four course meal by a Paul Bocouse Medal d’Or winning chef and a great bottle of wine at the French Pavilion. I am proud to say that our costs were ninety-seven thousand dollars less than Michelle Obama. Here are some pix that I found interesting; and a couple new abstract paintings, along with a 30 year old bronze buckle I thought I had lost in moving, I hope you also like them
Attached Images
File Type: jpg abstract attempt 2.jpg (88.3 KB, 0 views)
File Type: jpg abstract attempt.jpg (143.2 KB, 0 views)
File Type: jpg bronze buckle.jpg (48.7 KB, 0 views)
File Type: jpg colors from american pavilion colors.jpg (31.7 KB, 0 views)
File Type: jpg colors from American Pavioion.jpg (31.5 KB, 0 views)
File Type: jpg colors from the American Pavilion.jpg (24.0 KB, 0 views)
File Type: jpg da appetizers French of course.jpg (60.3 KB, 0 views)
File Type: jpg db Sea bass and squid.jpg (58.6 KB, 0 views)
File Type: jpg dessert.jpg (57.4 KB, 0 views)
File Type: jpg French breads.jpg (63.0 KB, 0 views)
File Type: jpg Italian baked goodies.jpg (72.9 KB, 0 views)
File Type: jpg Italian fruits and veg.display.jpg (54.1 KB, 0 views)
File Type: jpg Italian hams and salami.jpg (74.0 KB, 0 views)
File Type: jpg Italian wines galore.jpg (98.8 KB, 0 views)
File Type: jpg ItalianCheeses.jpg (80.9 KB, 0 views)
File Type: jpg The tree of life.jpg (71.9 KB, 0 views)
File Type: jpg The tree of life1.jpg (55.5 KB, 0 views)
File Type: jpg Tree of life.jpg (61.6 KB, 0 views)
File Type: jpg Milano Expo 1.jpg (48.1 KB, 0 views)
File Type: jpg Milano Expo 3.jpg (47.9 KB, 0 views)
File Type: jpg Milano Expo 4.jpg (41.9 KB, 0 views)
File Type: jpg Milano Expo 6.jpg (49.1 KB, 0 views)
File Type: jpg Milano Expo 7.jpg (41.2 KB, 0 views)
File Type: jpg Milano Expo 9.JPG (180.8 KB, 0 views)
File Type: jpg Milano Expo 10.jpg (45.0 KB, 0 views)
File Type: jpg Milano Expo 11.jpg (51.8 KB, 0 views)
File Type: jpg Milano Expo 12.jpg (50.4 KB, 0 views)
File Type: jpg Milano Expo 056.jpg (56.8 KB, 0 views)
__________________
"What a large volume of adventures may be grasped within this little span of life by him who interests his heart in everything"-Lawrence Sterne
Reply With Quote
  #134  
Old 11-24-2015, 08:33 AM
joseph engraver's Avatar
joseph engraver joseph engraver is offline
Platinum
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Sarzana,Italy
Posts: 562
Default Joda Fish

My poker name is Jodafish
I love the complexity and challenges of live poker, especially the game of pot limit Texas hold-em. And I have supplemented my income from this game for quite a few years. Not being able to find a local game and not being fluent in the language here in Italy I started playing one or two hours daily for fun on line.
Franca, who has great confidence in me decided that I should go to a casino and play for cash.”You take twenty-five hundred euro´s and play.” I explained that luck is always a factor in the game and there was no guarantee I would win. She said, “I don’t care if you lose it all, I want you to play.¨
That settled the issue, and she began planning a trip to Casino Sanremo which is located on the Riviera near the French border. I was planning to post pictures of inside the casino poker room on this forum.
As it turned out no cameras were allowed in the game room, and no limit betting was not to my liking. As a result I never even sat down to a table.
I did find the town interesting and even went bicycling for the first time in at least forty years. The suite we rented was not very exciting; the ocean view was misleading, although Di Vinci must have left one of his paintings in the bedroom. The best part of the trip was the guitar player; the worst part was the aggressiveness of the street venders. As it turned out it was a good thing I did not play and lose, for on returning to Santo Stefano we found that Franca´s car had been impounded and in order to get it back I had to pay two hundred Euro ransom.
Here are some pix for you. The first one shows my winnings after two years of playing on line; the last one is my latest painting... With all the gloom and doom in the world I wanted to paint something bright and cheerful.
Thank you for looking and taking the time to read my posts.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg 1aMy winnings as jodafish.jpg (43.6 KB, 0 views)
File Type: jpg 2a all aboard to Sanremo.jpg (56.0 KB, 0 views)
File Type: jpg 3a 500 orentals going to Cinquiterra.jpg (53.1 KB, 0 views)
File Type: jpg 4a still dragging bags around.jpg (49.2 KB, 0 views)
File Type: jpg 6a Casino Sanramo.jpg (61.1 KB, 0 views)
File Type: jpg 7a Casino.JPG (126.7 KB, 0 views)
File Type: jpg 8a 380 euro a night.jpg (105.8 KB, 0 views)
File Type: jpg 9a Big bucks afloat.jpg (68.1 KB, 0 views)
File Type: jpg 11a Di Vinci must have stayed here also.jpg (33.3 KB, 0 views)
File Type: jpg 13a Handbags galore.jpg (84.8 KB, 0 views)
File Type: jpg 18a dogs welcome.jpg (66.2 KB, 0 views)
File Type: jpg 20a old fool riding bike.jpg (81.3 KB, 0 views)
File Type: jpg 23aa motorbike are popular.jpg (187.5 KB, 0 views)
File Type: jpg 27a sernading Juliet.jpg (70.2 KB, 0 views)
File Type: jpg why Franca has lost her car.jpg (65.6 KB, 0 views)
File Type: jpg 002.jpg (85.1 KB, 0 views)
__________________
"What a large volume of adventures may be grasped within this little span of life by him who interests his heart in everything"-Lawrence Sterne
Reply With Quote
  #135  
Old 12-18-2015, 10:39 AM
joseph engraver's Avatar
joseph engraver joseph engraver is offline
Platinum
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Sarzana,Italy
Posts: 562
Default Amsterdam

Jo da Fish gets filleted in Amsterdam
For my 77th birthday present, Franca booked a trip to Amsterdam and included the sum of three thousand Euros to play live poker at the Holland Casino located on one of the many canals there.
I take pride in my poker skills, and ability to read my opponents. So it was that I entered the casino and found my way to the poker room, bought 400 euro in chips and took a seat at the Texas hold-em cash game. After 2 and ½ hours I found myself in the unfortunate position of losing my buy in.
This is not an uncommon occurrence and it happens to the best. I left the game went back to our room and got a good nights sleep. The next day we went touring the city, visiting the Dutch flower market, The Rijksmuseum and Van Gough Museum and feeling a bit guilty I took her to a very pricey restaurant for a lunch of oysters and champagne. Although I was sorely tempted to buy a bit of cannabis in the Bulldog coffee shop, I resisted and settled for inhaling the secondhand smoke that trailed every group of young tourists.
The next night I returned to the card tables found a seat at a no limit game with blind bets of 2 and 4 Euros, bought another 400 in chips and settled down for the night. With patience, skill and of course luck, I recovered my losses from the night before and was winning one hundred or so. I now had about nine hundred in chips in front of me.
I have two nephews that think of me as their hero, when I was in Mexico they came to visit me and I took them fishing on my boat. They both caught a sailfish and my status with them grew. They were both expecting me to win in Amsterdam and I did not want to disappoint them.
It was two thirty in the AM, the casino closed at three. I was in the last position on the table when I picked up my cards and saw that I had been dealt Ace, Jack of clubs. The first player bet 10 euro and five of the players call his bet. The sixth player was a young man who had accumulated a good size pile of chips buy raising the bet to 150 before seeing what the first three cards would be turned over. I was sure that he was trying to buy the pot. When my turn to call his bet I could have folded my cards and left the game even for the two nights of play. Instead I decided to pressure him into folding his hand, win another three hundred, in doing so and be able to maintain my hero status with my nephews. I raised his bet to three hundred fifty. He became very nervous and took a long time making up his mind but he called my raise. The first 3 cards were a 10, 5 and 3.He checked to me. (I knew that a large bet from me would make him throw away his cards.) I had my chips in stacks of three hundred, calmly I grabbed a stack and bet .As I put the chips in the pot I realized too late that I had bet my anti chips and my bet was 60 euro instead of 300.Naturally he called my bet. The next card gave him the one of only two cards in the deck that he could call me with, a six, giving him three sixes. He bet all in and I called, losing all my hard earned chips for the night’s play. When I got up from the table I said to the player that he should not spend his winnings all in the same place.
It was not the loss that bothered me .It was my mistake, but the thought that I would have to tell my nephews that I went out of the casino not winning .When I got to our accommodation Franca was still up. As soon as I walked into the room she knew by the look on my face I did not have a good night .I asked her what I should tell my nephews. Her very practical answer was that I should say that I won but not tell them how much I cashed out. Her reasoning was that until the last hand I had been winning and to say it in this way was not a lie. This solved my dilemma as I have not told a lie in a very long time.
So now only you know how Jo da Fish got filleted at the Amsterdam Holland Casino Photos inside the casino are not allowed nor could I take them in the museums, however here a few of Amsterdam which is one of the nicest, but expensive places I have had the pleasure of visiting. Perhaps the things that I found most interesting are that bicyclists are unionized, English is the second language and is taught from kindergarten through college. And there is little graffiti anywhere. As for the poker games “I will be back.” Have a Merry Christmas and a prosperous and healthy New Year. Here also is a new painting. The title is Two Old Men Strolling.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg 002.jpg (54.7 KB, 0 views)
File Type: jpg 003.jpg (83.2 KB, 0 views)
File Type: jpg 004.jpg (52.7 KB, 0 views)
File Type: jpg 007.jpg (63.2 KB, 0 views)
File Type: jpg 008.jpg (69.5 KB, 0 views)
File Type: jpg 010.jpg (52.8 KB, 0 views)
File Type: jpg 011.jpg (56.1 KB, 0 views)
File Type: jpg 013.jpg (74.2 KB, 0 views)
File Type: jpg Two Old Men final.jpg (82.9 KB, 0 views)
__________________
"What a large volume of adventures may be grasped within this little span of life by him who interests his heart in everything"-Lawrence Sterne
Reply With Quote
  #136  
Old 02-13-2016, 10:33 AM
joseph engraver's Avatar
joseph engraver joseph engraver is offline
Platinum
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Sarzana,Italy
Posts: 562
Default Love and Marriage

Tomorrow is my wedding anniversary. It is amazing how fast thirty five years have passed by
There are so many things I have come to learn about marriage and what it takes for one to be successful.
I have come to realize that it must be based on absolute trust in each other and the ability to forgive even when you don’t understand your partner’s point of view. I could go on and preach but this is not a pulpit and my opinions are only mine. There are a couple of rules that I have followed that I believe have made this union a success between Franca and me. They are never lie no matter the consequence or circumstances, and never go to sleep before coming to a peaceful compromise.
These two rules may sound simple but trust me they are not. Here are some new paintings that are the result of a tranquil mind. If you have enjoyed my posts you may also like reading my book “A Gifted Man, memoir of an artist “It is available on line from any bookseller, Excuse this shameful plug but I wrote in hopes of helping others .
Happy Valentine’s Day
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Wild Flowers 002.jpg (117.7 KB, 0 views)
File Type: jpg 001.jpg (83.5 KB, 0 views)
__________________
"What a large volume of adventures may be grasped within this little span of life by him who interests his heart in everything"-Lawrence Sterne
Reply With Quote
  #137  
Old 02-13-2016, 10:38 AM
joseph engraver's Avatar
joseph engraver joseph engraver is offline
Platinum
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Sarzana,Italy
Posts: 562
Default Re: New studio

for some reason these two pix did not upload
Attached Images
File Type: jpg 001.jpg (46.0 KB, 0 views)
File Type: jpg 004.jpg (43.4 KB, 0 views)
__________________
"What a large volume of adventures may be grasped within this little span of life by him who interests his heart in everything"-Lawrence Sterne
Reply With Quote
  #138  
Old 04-14-2016, 10:48 AM
joseph engraver's Avatar
joseph engraver joseph engraver is offline
Platinum
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Sarzana,Italy
Posts: 562
Default The Great West Chocolate Company

My dear wife was looking through old 35mm prints when she found these photos. They brought to mind the story of The Great West Chocolate Company, and I hope you will enjoy it.
It was 1995, and I was working a dark clay relief of a large buffalo head that I hoped to sell to the new bank that was opening in Cody Wyoming, whose logo was the buffalo.
One evening, a wine salesman that had finished taking an order for our restaurant was visiting my engraving shop. I showed him the sculpture I was working on, “Wouldn’t this make a great chocolate?”I asked. His reply was “It’s too big, but I think if you made them smaller you could sell hundreds of them.
That was the beginning idea of The Great West Chocolate Company.
Over the next few months I found a box maker in N.Y. a mold maker in Kansas, and a specialty chocolate maker in Ohio that would fill my molds and the 1000 boxes of chocolates required as a minimum order.
In the meantime I was working diligently on several low relief pieces that I felt would appeal to the many tourists that migrated through Cody on their way to Yellowstone Park.
After a year of planning, designing, and paying, I received my first shipment of six very large boxes full of delicious milk chocolate sculpture.
I was sure that this was the answer to the financial problems that all free spirited people experience.
Soon I would find a distributor, sell chocolates by the freight car full, make a lot of money, and then retire from the wind and cold winters in Wyoming to a sunny warm beach in Mexico.
My first problem was that the cartons of chocolate took up a lot of space, so I moved them down to the cellar where it was cool and they would not melt.
It was with joy and excitement that I opened the cartons, took out and examined the fruits of my labors. Then the realization hit me. Who was going to sell them? I had my full schedule of engraving work, plus I was waiting on tables for Franca at night.
I decided I needed to hire someone to market them for me as I opened one box; broke the work of art into pieces put a large chunk in my mouth and let the sweetness melt away my marketing worries.
One month later the person I hired came to me with her bill for travel, hotels, advertising, phone, and wages. The expenses put the Great West Chocolate Co. into dire financial distress as the net profits on each box sold were $2.75cents.
Time passed and the chocolates began to turn from a rich brown to an unappetizing grayish. It was then that this great enterprise died. The chocolates were given to anyone who expressed even the faintest interest in them. I finally got rid of the whole lot by donating them to the cancer drive, the old folk’s home, the local library and kids
I did manage to recover my expenses by casting the images in bronze over the course of several years.
The best part of this project was touching those boxes of chocolates that once existed only in my imagination. Take an idea then turn it into something visible and tangible is what I still love doing .Here also are a couple of recent paintings that I hope you also find interesting.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Bronze relief 1.JPG (50.4 KB, 0 views)
File Type: jpg Bronze relief 3.JPG (43.2 KB, 0 views)
File Type: jpg Bronze relief 4.JPG (58.5 KB, 0 views)
File Type: jpg bronze relief2.JPG (57.2 KB, 0 views)
File Type: jpg DSCN5549.JPG (61.3 KB, 0 views)
File Type: jpg DSCN5552.JPG (60.7 KB, 0 views)
File Type: jpg DSCN5555.JPG (51.5 KB, 0 views)
File Type: jpg Irma.JPG (66.9 KB, 0 views)
File Type: jpg Portrait of Ann 3.jpg (38.1 KB, 0 views)
File Type: jpg 005.jpg (81.8 KB, 0 views)
__________________
"What a large volume of adventures may be grasped within this little span of life by him who interests his heart in everything"-Lawrence Sterne
Reply With Quote
  #139  
Old 04-14-2016, 05:10 PM
Big-Un Big-Un is offline
Platinum
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Eden, NC
Posts: 541
Default Re: The Great West Chocolate Company

Joseph, my wife and I owned and operated a "candy florist" ( we made hand crafted chocolates and lipops arranged in traditional floral designs, the difference being you could eat ours ) between 1990-95 so I understand your chagrin completely! We were fairly successful but it took a lot of effort and we discovered we could actually work together. I did all the cooking and made deliveries while she did the arrangements, ran the retail and wholesale shop and did the marketing. My engraving took a vacation during that time, but it was the best experience I have ever had. I often told her that "I never worked so hard for so little and enjoyed it so much" in my life.

Anyway, hope you're doing okay and life is treating you well.

Bill
Reply With Quote
  #140  
Old 04-15-2016, 06:20 AM
SEngraver SEngraver is offline
Platinum
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: UK.
Posts: 3,333
Default Re: New studio

Hi Joseph

Which of the two places do you like or prefer better Mexico or Italy.And being in Italy do find you somehow miss the other places you have lived in.
I very much miss the places where I have lived because every place had its own unique weather,food,people, vegetation,animals,way of life etc etc which does not go with you where you move to it stays behind,and those are memoires I treasure.
SE
__________________
Learn from those who know more than you do and teach those who know less than you do. - I.M.
Reply With Quote
  #141  
Old 04-17-2016, 10:58 AM
joseph engraver's Avatar
joseph engraver joseph engraver is offline
Platinum
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Sarzana,Italy
Posts: 562
Default Re: New studio

Bill glad to know that you were successful. It takes a good woman to make a difference in a mans life-
SE Engraver. That is a very interesting question, and one that required some thought.
I have found everyplace I have lived had it positives and negatives. For example, America was the greatest country when I was trying to make a living and I was younger and full of energy .If my only interests in life consisted of engraving and making money, I would still be there. The opportunity there is limited only by ones determination, I believe it still is.
Mexico is more like the Wild West where you need to keep one eye on your back, your money in your boot, and learn to live with the dangers that come with a culture that is very corrupted. Its population that has developed the concept that if they can fool you with lies that they are smarter than you. The motto “It is better to say excuse me than may I.” Was my lawyer’s favorite. Native Mexicans are clean, clever, and very loyal to their family, but not to outsiders.
All of this made no difference to me when I lived there as I found my life exciting and interesting, food was cheap, and nature provided me with a interesting year round supply of colorful humming birds, butterflies ,mangos, bananas, along with poisonous reptiles, scorpions sea turtles, mosquitoes and fire- ants. Then there is the beautiful Pacific where I learned so much about myself and offshore fishing for big game and enjoyed the warmth and the most beautiful sun rises and sunsets... I think if I was not for the love I have for Franca and never to grow old I would still be there.
Italy has a much different culture than America or Mexico. Here things are very much regulated by A Socialist government. And it is not easy for young people to be independent. But for people like me who have pulled their share behind the plow in making a life for themselves. It is the ideal place to live; Medical care is excellent and is basically for free. Franca has reunited with her family and has made many new friends. The people are kind and drivers are law abiding and polite. Here I can visit all the European countries with short airline flights. In two weeks I will be going to Prague for a few days. The cost of the flight is 65 Euros round trip. Art is everywhere and the area where I am is only a 15 minute bus ride from great picturesque beaches, and most importantly a good bottle of wine can be found for 3 euro or less .I am content to call Italy my home, as a matter of fact I am going to apply for citizenship here. Thank you for commenting on this post
__________________
"What a large volume of adventures may be grasped within this little span of life by him who interests his heart in everything"-Lawrence Sterne
Reply With Quote
  #142  
Old 04-18-2016, 04:51 AM
SEngraver SEngraver is offline
Platinum
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: UK.
Posts: 3,333
Default Re: New studio

Quote:
Originally Posted by joseph engraver View Post
Bill glad to know that you were successful. It takes a good woman to make a difference in a mans life-
SE Engraver. That is a very interesting question, and one that required some thought.
I have found everyplace I have lived had it positives and negatives. For example, America was the greatest country when I was trying to make a living and I was younger and full of energy .If my only interests in life consisted of engraving and making money, I would still be there. The opportunity there is limited only by ones determination, I believe it still is.
Mexico is more like the Wild West where you need to keep one eye on your back, your money in your boot, and learn to live with the dangers that come with a culture that is very corrupted. Its population that has developed the concept that if they can fool you with lies that they are smarter than you. The motto “It is better to say excuse me than may I.” Was my lawyer’s favorite. Native Mexicans are clean, clever, and very loyal to their family, but not to outsiders.
All of this made no difference to me when I lived there as I found my life exciting and interesting, food was cheap, and nature provided me with a interesting year round supply of colorful humming birds, butterflies ,mangos, bananas, along with poisonous reptiles, scorpions sea turtles, mosquitoes and fire- ants. Then there is the beautiful Pacific where I learned so much about myself and offshore fishing for big game and enjoyed the warmth and the most beautiful sun rises and sunsets... I think if I was not for the love I have for Franca and never to grow old I would still be there.
Italy has a much different culture than America or Mexico. Here things are very much regulated by A Socialist government. And it is not easy for young people to be independent. But for people like me who have pulled their share behind the plow in making a life for themselves. It is the ideal place to live; Medical care is excellent and is basically for free. Franca has reunited with her family and has made many new friends. The people are kind and drivers are law abiding and polite. Here I can visit all the European countries with short airline flights. In two weeks I will be going to Prague for a few days. The cost of the flight is 65 Euros round trip. Art is everywhere and the area where I am is only a 15 minute bus ride from great picturesque beaches, and most importantly a good bottle of wine can be found for 3 euro or less .I am content to call Italy my home, as a matter of fact I am going to apply for citizenship here. Thank you for commenting on this post
Hi
Thank you Joseph for your reply.I believe you are a happy go lucky couple you adapt easily to the different places with different environments where you move to,I have admired the way you have put the different experiences to us in a very nice and pleasant way,you described all the tough the difficult the bad the good always in a way that it never seemed a complaint but just mere experiences that came in your life or you encountered in life. And I admire that.Reading your experiences is always interesting and something I look forward to though most of the time just reading the posts is enough.Here I must add The admirable and supportive person always by your side is Franca.
I wish you both well and the very best for the future.

SE
__________________
Learn from those who know more than you do and teach those who know less than you do. - I.M.
Reply With Quote
  #143  
Old 04-19-2016, 08:19 PM
Big-Un Big-Un is offline
Platinum
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Eden, NC
Posts: 541
Default Re: New studio

Yes Joseph, a good woman is essential to success and I have been very blessed to be married to one for 49 years this coming Memorial Day. We've had many great experiences together and are enjoying our "twilight" years together. I've known two exceptional women in my life, my mother and my wife.

Bill
Reply With Quote
  #144  
Old 05-10-2016, 09:16 AM
joseph engraver's Avatar
joseph engraver joseph engraver is offline
Platinum
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Sarzana,Italy
Posts: 562
Default Prague

Prague Czechoslovakia
Imagine boarding a time machine and going back to the 13th century, and a country where the language, spelling, and culture are totally foreign. This is what Franca, her sister Giuliana, and I did when we landed in Prague for a six day visit.
Franca had made all the reservations for room and transportation, including a chauffeured Mercedes sedan. For the first time in my life I did not have to drag our luggage behind me. Our accommodation was located in 18th century villa, which had been updated with an elevator. That was something I appreciated, as our suite was on the fourth floor. After settling in, I could not help but notice that Raphael had also stayed there, for above the bed was one of his paintings.
My first view of the heart of Prague was more than I could have imagined. The streets were wide and sidewalks level, neatly fitted in mosaic cobblestone patterns, and there was not a speck of trash.
I did discover as I walked over one of the 18 bridges that span the Vltava River the water looked more like sewage, even though there was no foul smell I knew that local fish would not be eaten by me.
Prague is called the city of 100 towers, most of them decorated with religious symbols, many in real gold. My first thought was this must be where Walt Disney got his inspiration for Disney Land...It is also know as a city of sin, but I avoided those temptations.
The most impressive bridge is the Charles Bridge built between the 14th and 15th century and named after King Charles the 4th .It is decorated by 30 soot stained statues of saints and kings and is the main destination for tourists who want to see Prague Castle as they make their way through the artist, musicians, and vendors that congregate on the bridge.
As for food and service it was wonderful. However be sure to check the bill and count your change as the Czechs have a problem with math and the mistakes seem to be always in their favor.
I went looking for a casino where I could enjoy an evening playing poker. Prague has many casinos and I inspected them as we walked the city. Each one I went into had slot machines but no poker room. My belief is that slots are for suckers to lose their money and I never play them. I did find one casino that advertised live poker. The name is Gold Finger, that alone to me was a warning, anyway I went in and found the entrance located on the second floor ,accessed by a stairway covered with faded and worn red carpet overseen by a floor manager who looked oriental and very seedy. That ended my quest for a good game of Texas Hold Em.
One of the amazing thing about Prague is the city escaped the destruction of the Second World War. Except for the bombing that was caused by the Army Air force who through a navigational error carpeted bombed it instead of Dresden, killing700 civilians and wounding 1500 while destroying190 buildings.
After burning out seeing castles, statues and old villas decorated with baroque and art nouveau, visiting Salvatore Dali and Alphonse Mucha exhibitions, I found one of the many parks to rest my weary legs and enjoy watching the endless parade of adults, children and dogs.
Here are some of the sights that I found during my trip to Prague.
I hope you also find them interesting
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Lemo service.jpg (56.9 KB, 0 views)
File Type: jpg A bit of gold and silver.jpg (56.8 KB, 0 views)
File Type: jpg best picture of the trip.jpg (81.0 KB, 0 views)
File Type: jpg Charles Bridge 2.jpg (41.1 KB, 0 views)
File Type: jpg I want one.jpg (68.7 KB, 0 views)
File Type: jpg my residence for a week.jpg (45.5 KB, 0 views)
File Type: jpg Good King Wenceslas.jpg (32.5 KB, 0 views)
File Type: jpg King Wenceslas Square.jpg (104.5 KB, 0 views)
File Type: jpg Kings castle.jpg (50.3 KB, 0 views)
File Type: jpg Old Town Square.jpg (67.5 KB, 0 views)
File Type: jpg over view of Prague.jpg (58.0 KB, 0 views)
File Type: jpg portrait artist.jpg (57.0 KB, 0 views)
File Type: jpg Raphael was here.jpg (43.4 KB, 0 views)
File Type: jpg the only way to see Prague.jpg (82.8 KB, 0 views)
File Type: jpg My favorite pix.jpg (20.3 KB, 0 views)
File Type: jpg more inspiration for me.jpg (78.9 KB, 0 views)
File Type: jpg could not resist this pix.jpg (65.4 KB, 0 views)
File Type: jpg The tour guide of my life.jpg (68.2 KB, 0 views)
File Type: jpg tile work 17th century.jpg (71.2 KB, 0 views)
File Type: jpg uphill to castle.jpg (71.4 KB, 0 views)
File Type: jpg View from South Garden.jpg (72.6 KB, 0 views)
File Type: jpg A bit of gold.jpg (53.9 KB, 0 views)
File Type: jpg Cathederal entrance.jpg (81.8 KB, 0 views)
__________________
"What a large volume of adventures may be grasped within this little span of life by him who interests his heart in everything"-Lawrence Sterne
Reply With Quote
  #145  
Old 06-15-2016, 12:02 PM
joseph engraver's Avatar
joseph engraver joseph engraver is offline
Platinum
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Sarzana,Italy
Posts: 562
Default The Great Cantaloupe Caper

Here some new paintings recently finished along with a short story from my checkered past.
The Great Cantaloupe Caper
Early one morning while getting ready for school I asked my stepfather Ernest if I could have some different school clothes. The other kids dressed nicely; no one in bib overalls with pockets on the side that rulers and hammers fit into except me, and I hated those overalls. He told me that if the clothes he put on my back weren’t good enough, I could earn the money myself and buy my own. From that point on I found ways of earning money. That summer of 1949 I found work following behind the cultivator and sacking potatoes for the farmer who had a nearby roadside stand.
My neighbor Mr. Bisbee was a hard-working Yankee farmer. He had a good farm with a nice herd of Holstein cattle and his roadside produce stand was always full with the very best. He always had the best corn, green beans, wax beans, pumpkins, carrots, red fat Macintosh apples stored in round crates, honey, and his apple cider that was considered to be the best in all of Rockingham County. But the thing I liked the most was the cantaloupes in the fall...
One day, I saw Mr. Bisbee on his red Farm All tractor, cultivator behind, unearthing big Russet potatoes in a cloud of September dust. I took off barefoot and ran across the pasture to where he was working. ‘Mr. Bisbee,’ I called up to him, ‘Can I sack potatoes for you?’ ‘You want to pick potatoes for me boy? Go right ahead.” And he continued on down the rows uncovering more potatoes. I grabbed a burlap sack from off the wagon and started scooping up potatoes.
It was mid-afternoon when I started and by the time I had picked five sacks full, I was getting very hungry. So I stopped, dragged all the sacks off the field next to the wagon, had a good drink of water and then went to Mr. Bisbee who was still bent over sacking potatoes and told him that I was going home and would he pay me for my work. He stood up from his sack of potatoes and looked down at me as I asked for my money. Five sacks of potatoes were worth fifty cents. He returned to picking up potatoes and said, “Boy, you said you wanted to pick potatoes. I didn’t say anything about paying you. Now you get on home.”
In the late summer when the air at night is so sweet and whippoorwills lamented while fireflies glowed like tiny paper lanterns; I slept outside- to the relief of the entire house. My cot was under the lean-to of the chicken coop and most nights had the company of Buddy, a big gray and white rooster. We got along just fine once I got the part of the chicken that goes over the fence last, pointed in the right direction away from my head. A big dollop of chicken shit was not what I needed on the back of my head. When the nights were clear with no worry about rain, I would take my blanket and sleep under the white pines, the fallen needles raked into a fragrant comfortable mattress. My best friend Donald had begged his folks to have permission to stay over. We both lay under the September moonlight talking.
I told Don about the potatoes and non-payment by Mr. Bisbee. It was then we decided we should get even by sneaking up to his farm and steal his melons. The melons were ripe for plucking and we knew exactly in what part of the garden they lay. Our plan was to walk up the road until we got to the cornfield, cut through it, climb under the fence and carry off as many melons as we could.
Everything went quite well until we got to the fence. Then the whole plan unraveled. We were on hands and knees when we ran into the herd of Holsteins... They must have thought we were a pair of timber wolves. They snorted, stamped their hooves and stampeded, then crashed right through the garden fence, mooing and moaning- and ended up in our melon patch.
Don and I turned and hightailed it back to our camp. We were too excited by the commotion we had stirred up to be able to sleep, so after an hour or so we decided to steal cider. Mr. Bisbee kept his cider in gallon glass jugs on the north side of his produce stand under the shelf that held the boxes of apples. This presented us with the possibility of being seen as the house was on the other side of the lawn, exposing us to view.
We decided on the direct approach like Bonnie and Clyde. We would hit quickly and be gone in a flash. We arrived at our target and waited to be sure no one was up. After a while, our heartbeats settled down a bit. We counted; ‘one, two, and three…’ and then we were off. Donald grabbed his two jugs and I had mine in my hands when the hound dogs began to bark. We took off and ran straight into a little wire fence Mrs. Bisbee had placed around a bed of petunias. Both Don and I went flying through the air, head first into the flowers. I dropped both jugs and was crawling in the moonlight looking for them. Don was up and running, looking for the ditch. I was determined to leave with the cider I felt I had earned in the potato patch. I finally found them, got things under control and ran.
We took the jugs down into the back woods near the giant oak and buried them.
We thought cider was like beer. Don and I would climb up the oak, pass a jug back and forth between us, talk about the robbery and laugh ourselves silly. A few days later I was walking over to Don’s house and as I slinked by the produce stand, Mr. Bisbee called me over. “You were up here the other night stealing apples, boy?” he accused me. “No sir, Mr. Bisbee. I never stole an apple from you, I swear to God I didn’t.” I turned and went running down the road, feeling pleased with the fact that for once I had not told a lie.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg man and his dog 001.jpg (75.2 KB, 0 views)
File Type: jpg Abstract # 10 001.jpg (74.0 KB, 0 views)
File Type: jpg RED RIDING HOOD.jpg (66.6 KB, 0 views)
__________________
"What a large volume of adventures may be grasped within this little span of life by him who interests his heart in everything"-Lawrence Sterne
Reply With Quote
  #146  
Old 06-20-2016, 06:54 AM
bamabubba bamabubba is offline
Copper
 
Join Date: Apr 2014
Location: Alabama
Posts: 7
Default Re: New studio

Absolutely beautiful! Congratulations on the space, and may it continue to bring you endless joy.

Brandon
Reply With Quote
  #147  
Old 08-21-2016, 06:20 AM
joseph engraver's Avatar
joseph engraver joseph engraver is offline
Platinum
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Sarzana,Italy
Posts: 562
Default The last painting

Thank you Brandon, I am truly enjoying my life. Here are some pix, a painting, and some of my recent thoughts.
The city of Sarzana hosts an event each year since 1958 that is called “La Soffitta nella Strada”, which translates to,” The Attic in the Street”. It is as if the whole area comes together of a very large antique, art and unusual item garage sale. This fifteen day event draws collectors, browser´s, and tourists from every corner of the globe.
I am fortunate to live very close by, and have spent time browsing the many narrow cobblestone streets and alley ways. Last night as I was exploring, I suddenly realized that much of the items for sale at very cheap prices were some wonderful oil painting s. It was then that I knew that my painting efforts would one day become items for sale in the street... this is the reason that I have decided to make this my last painting and turn my creative energies to writing as a hobby. At least my words will not be displayed on a table for sale, and those who read them can easily read or delete as they choose.
Thank you all for looking
Joseph Engraver
Attached Images
File Type: jpg antiques Sarzana 001.jpg (63.7 KB, 0 views)
File Type: jpg antiques Sarzana 002.jpg (77.1 KB, 0 views)
File Type: jpg antiques Sarzana 003.jpg (81.7 KB, 0 views)
File Type: jpg antiques Sarzana 004.jpg (93.1 KB, 0 views)
File Type: jpg antiques Sarzana 005.jpg (89.5 KB, 0 views)
File Type: jpg antiques Sarzana 006.jpg (51.5 KB, 0 views)
File Type: jpg antiques Sarzana 007.jpg (49.0 KB, 0 views)
File Type: jpg antiques Sarzana 008.jpg (103.4 KB, 0 views)
File Type: jpg antiques Sarzana 010.jpg (78.3 KB, 0 views)
File Type: jpg antiques Sarzana 011.jpg (68.5 KB, 0 views)
File Type: jpg BEACH BASKETS by Joseph.jpg (64.5 KB, 0 views)
File Type: jpg unfinished Boats by Joseph Engraver.jpg (61.5 KB, 0 views)
__________________
"What a large volume of adventures may be grasped within this little span of life by him who interests his heart in everything"-Lawrence Sterne
Reply With Quote
  #148  
Old 10-01-2016, 10:13 AM
joseph engraver's Avatar
joseph engraver joseph engraver is offline
Platinum
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Sarzana,Italy
Posts: 562
Default A short story for your enjoyment

Every thing I have posted here as been true,(With a bit of creativity here and there where needed.)This short story is all imaginary, I wanted to write something that perhaps a young child would like. As most of the people I know as engravers are also child like and have great imaginations I thought you would be a good review panel. Please let me know your opinion
Thank you
Joseph.
The Hermit and the Boy
Once there was a small, shy, orphaned boy who lived on a farm in New England with his great Aunt and uncle. This boy was never far away from the faded blue and white flour sack apron that his aunt always wore. He would follow behind her around the kitchen. And when she went outside to collect the eggs that the red hens laid in the hayloft he was with her .He was always close by sitting on a small wooden stool watching her as she milked the family cow so there would be cream for his pudding in the morning. The boy never left her side until the day he was old enough to start school. Early that spring morning she took him out to the barn where the yellow school bus that his uncle drove every day was kept. She gave him a paper sack that held his lunch, kissed him on his cheek and told him to be good.
As the boy was the first one to board and the last one to get off at the end of the day. He always sat in the front of the bus. Just as the sun was just waking up, sitting in the front seats of the bus he got to see all the animals that were up and searching for their breakfasts.
The deer, stood along the road side browsing on clover and flowers. The squirrels ran along the stone walls looking for acorns that the night winds had made fall to the ground. Once in a while he would catch a glimpse of a fat porcupine as it climbed a tree to spend its day sleeping in safety as the blue jays sitting on the roadside branches would shriek “thief, thief “as the bus rumbled by. But even seeing all these beautiful forest creatures could not take away the loneliness he felt away from his aunt. As the boy grew and his aunt got older, she would send him to collect the eggs and milk the cow, for she had become very tired and her legs caused her much pain.
One day his aunt said “Jimmy, please take a basket and go out into the woods and pick some delicious blueberries so that I can fix muffins for your breakfast. “ Now this boy loved his aunt and would do anything she asked of him. He was not a brave boy and was afraid to enter the nearby woods, but without complaint he took a basket and went to find blueberries for his aunt. To his surprise the woods were not as scary as he supposed them to be. There was sunlight pouring down between the branches and the woods gave off a sweet fragrance of wild violets while the songs of birds filled the air, but there were no blueberries to be found.
Not wanting to disappoint his aunt the boy ventured deeper into the woods. As he went deeper the forest became darker, but the boy did not notice the change, for he found a huge bush loaded with berries .He picked one and ate it, it was delicious, with enthusiasm he began to fill the basket with the bright blue berries. As he picked the sun disappeared and the woods got darker and the birds stopped singing, still the boy did not notice the change., It was only when the basket was full that he realized he was lost in the woods and did not know where home was, for the trees now looked all the same, mist began to cover the ground. It was then that fear entered his mind. He began to walk, not knowing where he was going, but hoping he would find his way home. It was not long before he found a narrow path which the lost boy began to follow, hoping it would lead to his home and his beloved aunt.
Instead, the path stopped in front of a very strange hut made of sticks, and stones it’s roof covered with thatching of moss and grass...Sitting on the step was a bare footed man wearing thick spectacles, corduroy trousers held up by a bright red pair of suspenders over a brown wool shirt-and he was reading a leather covered Bible .When he saw the boy he put a marker in the book, closed it and said.” Who in the blazes are you, and how did you get here?” The boy did not answer at first for he was so happy to know that he was no longer alone in the woods and was sure that this man with shaggy white hair and beard could tell him how to find his way home to his aunt.” My name is Jimmy Tucker and I got lost in the woods. Can you please tell me how to get home from here:” The man stared at the boy then shook his head and said “well that is impossible to do unless you can tell me where exactly you belong, because you certainly don’t belong here? My name is Chester and I am hermit because I don’t like people, and I don’t like to be disturbed and you lost boy, are absolutely interrupting my peace and quiet.
Now if you tell me where you live I will be pleased to tell how to get home.”
“Mr. Hermit I live on the farm with my great aunt and uncle on the dirt road that passes by Horseshoe pond... Can you tell me how I can find the way to Horseshoe pond?”
“Of course I can.” the hermit growled. “But you can find it yourself. All you have to do go flying up that tall tree and from there you can see it.” The boy was confused by the Hermits answer and said “Mister Hermit, I am a boy and everyone knows that boy´s cannot fly” The hermit stared over his spectacles shook his shaggy head pulled hard on his long beard and said. “That is nonsense; every one can fly if they learn how to do so. Why I can teach you to fly like a bumblebee, and as you must surely know they are not supposed to fly. I must tell you that I will not do so for free, and it will take time, imagination, and willpower to learn how. Now if you want to fly, you must agree to my terms .Only then I will show you how to find your home.
Without waiting to know what the hermit’s terms were, and because he wanted to go home, the boy agreed to learn to fly... “I think you need to know my terms before you commit to such a difficult task as flying,” the hermit said, and he reached out and patted the boy on his shoulder. “By the way, those are the finest looking blueberries I have ever seen, and I want you to give them to me as payment for telling you how to find your way home.” Upon hearing this boy took two steps backwards and said as he turned to go. “Mister Hermit, these berries are for my aunt to bake muffins and I will not give them to you, I will find my own way home, and I don´t care if I ever fly.”
“Well, well, well! At least you have integrity little boy, but how do you intend to find your way home without me helping you?” Holding his basket to his chest to boy replied. “You have just told me how Mister Hermit. I shall climb a tall tree and be able to see my home when I am at the top”. “Well, well, well,” Said the hermit. “Not only do you have integrity, you also have a good brain and determination very necessary things a small boy such as you needs to learn the art of flying. I think we can negotiate a reasonable solution to this, as I happen to very much like blueberry muffins. If you bring me a fresh muffin each time you come, I will teach you to fly like the bumble bee.”
“But Mister Hermit, what if my aunt does not bake muffins and no muffins are available?” The boy wanted to know.
“Then I will settle for a nice piece of pie. Apple, peach, pear, cherry, all acceptable, but I don’t like pumpkin. Does she bake pies?” the hermit asked and the boy nodded. “And if no pies are baked I will settle for two fresh eggs and a pint of sweet cream .Now if you can agree to this we will shake hands.” Then the hermit and the boy shook hands, sealing the agreement that every day after that when the boy came for a lesson he would bring the hermit something delicious to eat. The hermit patted his round stomach as if he could already taste one of the boy´s aunt´s delicious muffins and said. “I will now tell you the easy way to find you home. Your home is south of where you are standing. Do you know how to find south from here?” Jimmy Tucker´s silence told the hermit that he did not. The hermit continued. “Do you know that moss grows only on the north side of a tree? So if you want to go south you must follow the trees where you can see moss. As you walk south you find a meadow and across that meadow you will find the road that leads to Horseshoe pond and your home. And make sure that you remember how to find you way back here when you bring me a freshly baked muffin. Also, before you go, I must warn you cannot tell others that you are going to learn to fly.”
“But Mister Hermit, I will not lie to my aunt and if she asks I will tell her the truth.”
The hermit thought for a moment and said, “Jimmy Tucker, I can tell that you are an honest boy and that is a very rare quality in people. Do you know how the game of chess is played?” Jimmy proudly said, Yes sir Mr. Hermit they teach us that game at school.
“Very good, that will save us time, as your flying will depend on also playing a chess game with me every time you come here, you can tell anyone who should ask that you are taking chess lessons from me. That will take care of the need to lie.
Now it is late and past time for my nap, go find your way home.
The boy, following the hermit´s instructions set off into the woods, and it was not long before he came to the meadow. At first he was uncertain the meadow was not covered with water, instead of millions of pale blue flowers...As he reached the edge, the meadow suddenly began to tremble and buzz, then a mighty swarm of black and yellow bumble bees filled the air. When the boy saw this he said to himself. “If they can fly then so will I.”
Across the meadow he could see the cupola that topped the huge red barn and the weather vane that glowed in the late afternoon sun. He knew he was soon to be home with his aunt and the anger of his step uncle.
When he reached his home she was in the kitchen. Jimmy ran to her carrying the basket of berries. He said “Auntie I am sorry to be late, but I did find your berries and after picking them I got lost in the woods. Then I met a hermit living there and he told me how to find my way home. His aunt looked up from the big wooden churn where she was turning cream into butter. “So you have met Chester, I have known him for many years; he is a good and kind man. Not many others have seen him. And fewer still have spoken to him. Now you can help me to make the butter for my arm is tired from doing what is your job and you can tell me all about that old hermit Chester.” Jimmy took his aunts place in front of the butter churn and began to tell her of his adventures in the woods and how Chester was going to teach him the game of chess in return for muffins, but he made no mention of flying.
“Jimmy chess is a very old complex game and I am sure Chester will be a good teacher, I think that his payments are very fair:
Now I want to tell you how you came to live here on this farm. You need to know about your mother and your ancestors...I know that your uncle does not think well of you and has called you terrible names many times and says you were abandoned by your father and mother.
This is not the truth; your mother was a beautiful woman who fell in love at a young age. The man she fell in love with was a soldier. He left her without marrying to fend for herself when he was called to defend our country, even when he learned that she was carrying you, his child.
You were a very difficult and painful birth and you mother who was my niece died giving you life. Although I know little of your father except that he was killed in the war. I want you to know that you have heroes blood in your veins. You must never be ashamed of your mother or yourself. Always remember that sticks and stones can break your bones, but words will never hurt you...Your ancestors came to America on the Mayflower and settled the colony of Plymouth in 1620. In you veins is the blood of brave Pilgrims’ like William Bradford. Never be ashamed that you have no living mother or father. Your ancestors have fought persecution, the Indians, French, and British for independence, and, the wars against slavery. To this entire narration Jimmy only said as he looked into the churn” Thank you auntie, I have you and, I think the butter is made.”
That night as he was sleeping Jimmy dreamed for the very first time that he was flying. He flew not like a bumble bee or a bird. He simply floated up into the sky as the winds carried him aloft, like the floret of a dandelion. Below, he saw the farm and its gardens, and then he looked down on the beautiful blue meadow and woods where he could see the hermit sitting in the sun, who looked up and waved.
In the morning he tried to recall the dream but its vision escaped him. He only knew that one day he would defy gravity and be able to soar up into the sky.
Part 2
The chess lessons
The very next day as soon as he had finished helping his aunt with the chores He asked permission to go visit the hermit to begin chess lessons. Hearing this, the uncle said. “Chess lessons? That is the most ridiculous thing I have heard this worthless brat say in weeks. Why he doesn’t have the brains to learn anything more than how to milk a cow and take the horse to water.” Now jimmy did not like milking the cow but he loved taking the horse Molly down to the nearby spring every evening to drink. He had learned that Molly came from France as a foal and was a wedding gift for his aunt twenty five years ago. She was as black as coal and weighed more than one ton and her ancestors were once war horses that carried knights into battle. Even as big as she was Jimmy loved her, and hoped one day he would be tall enough to climb on her back so he could ride her.
Once again Jimmy´s aunt came to his rescue. “Andrew, you are cruel, deplorable man. This child is not worthless and I have given him permission to go, and he will prove you wrong.”
“Wrong! What is wrong is that I allowed him to come into my home in the first place. The brat should have been left in the care of the state orphanage where he belonged .Now I have to feed and clothe him, and continue to put up with your foolishness.” Then he turned and left to go into the sunroom to read his newspaper and smoke his corncob pipe.
When the boy arrived at the hermit’s house, he carried with him a small paper bag that contained a pint of fresh cream and a large blueberry muffin. When the hermit saw this he clapped his hands, rolled his eyes in happiness, and said “Thank you little boy, I am now sure that you are honest and can keep your word, but I require a bit more proof. I want to tell you about the game of chess. Do you know chess dates back over 1500 years and has been part of the culture of India, Persia, Mongolia, and Russia, not to mention China, Japan, England Norway and all of the European countries? It has been used to decide kingdoms, and battles. It is a game of logic, mathematics and complex strategies, many books on chess were written between the 12th and 15th centuries. So you can see that this not a game for people of no intellect.
Before you will be able to fly you must learn to use the power of your mind. That is why you shall begin flying lessons by playing chess. In this way I shall see if you are even capable of developing the will needed to fly. Are you willing to do this Jimmy?” “Yes sir, last night I dreamt that I was flying and I could see you below me” the boy said. The hermit smiled and said “I know, I could see you also, now come inside my home and we shall begin your lessons.”
The first thing Jimmy noticed was how neat and clean the hermits home was. The second thing he saw was a small checkerboard table set with only two chess pieces facing each other and a single chair. One piece was a black king that had a crown of gold and a silver sword in his left hand. The other piece was a white knight holding a wooden lance in his right hand. “First tell me what you know about these pieces little boy, if you answer correctly I will begin to teach you how to fly. If your answer is wrong then I know you are a liar and will send you home, eat my muffin and drink my cream and go back to my peace and quiet.” Jimmy took his time, he thought carefully about how to answer the hermit, for he desperately wanted to learn to fly.
He said “The king can only move one square at a time in any direction, the knight moves three squares, two in one direction and one to the side, it can never put the king in checkmate by itself, and it is the only chess piece that can jump over another piece.” The hermit shook the boy´s hand. “You have given a very good answer. For I now know that you are not a liar and I can trust you to keep a promise. I too am not a liar and to prove to you that I can show you how to fly, I will now give you a small demonstration on the power you have in your mind. You say that the knight is the only piece that can jump over another. Sit down, watch carefully, and I will show you what can be done with the mind.” The boy did as told while the hermit walked to another chair in the corner of the room. Once seated he said to the boy, “I want you to concentrate on the king, you are going to make it move to the other end of the board. And I want you to imagine the king lifting up into the air and flying to the end of the board. You first must see this in your imagination, and then you must will this to happen with all your heart.”
He then adjusted his spectacles opened up his leather covered Bible and began to read.
The silence settled into the room as Jimmy stared at the chess board and wondered how he could make the king move by will power alone. After a long while he sighed, and slumped defeated down into the chair. The hermit looked up from his reading, put a marker in his book and stood up, walked to the boys side and said “I told you this would not be easy and it will take time to learn how much power you have in your mind, now I am going to prove to you that it is not an impossible task. Get up from that chair and go to the other side of the room and watch the King. ”The hermit sat down in Jimmy´s place and stared at the chess board. Time seemed to stop. The hermit ´s face turned a bright red, he began to tremble, as beads of sweat appeared on his brow, suddenly the king lifted up into the air and like a black feather floated across the room to settle on the Bible that lay next to the boy. The hermit looked at the boy and said. ” It has been many years since I have used my brain power, thank you little boy. Now that you have seen me do this you must never tell a soul, not even your aunt, and especially your uncle. This ends your first lesson, now go home as it is time for my nap and I will give you your next lesson tomorrow.”
That night the boy could not sleep, he lay awake imagining making the king float through the air as the hermit had. In the morning after all his chores were done he again asked for permission to visit the hermit. The uncle hearing this became angry and said, “That is enough of this nonsense. Do you think you can do a few chores and then skip off to waste time with that crazy old fool? You have too much free time for nonsense. From now on you will make sure that the wood box is full, the kindling has been split and you have emptied my chamber pot, only then can you try to learn chess ...do you understand me! You worthless brat?” Happy that his uncle had not forbidden him from seeing the hermit, Jimmy nodded and said “Yes Uncle I do understand and I will do the extra things you ask of me.” The uncle smiled with satisfaction, saying as he did; “Good! Now get out of my sight you stupid boy.”
It was late morning when the boy was done with the extra chores. His Aunt said to him as she gave him a warm hug and a smile. “Remember that you have heroes blood in you veins and you uncle is a cruel man, now run to the hermit and give him this.” When the boy arrived at the hermit’s home´s carrying a whole apple pie his sweet aunt had given, the hermit was pacing angrily outside. “Well, well the second day of your lessons and you are late. I think you need to go home and not bother me anymore. Now get you away from here.” Jimmy did not move, he stood his ground in front of the angry hermit and said. “ I am late because my uncle gave me extra chores to do this morning, I am sorry that you had to wait, It will not happen again as I will get up extra early and finish my chores ,that way I shall be here on time in the future.” The hermit looked down on the boy and noticed the pie he held in his hands. “Is that a blue berry pie you have there?” He asked.
Jimmy handed the hermit the pie and said. “No sir, it is apple and my aunt made it just for you.”
“Apple, a whole apple pie for me!” said the hermit as held it close to his nose and inhaled the flavors of cinnamon, brown sugar, clove, raisins, and granny smith apples. “Your aunt certainly knows the way to this hermit’s heart. Come in boy and we will have you flying soon. Now today I want you to focus on the knight and in doing so imagine that it is you riding a horse doing battle to save your aunt from a terrible tyrant. To do this you must make the knight move across the board in one leap.”
The days turned into weeks as jimmy sat every day that he was free, willing with all his heart to make the knight move. The weeks turned into a month and soon they became two, yet the knight never moved. It was the beginning of third month that something happened. The knight did not move across the board, instead it fell over. The hermit who had become quite plump eating pies, cakes and drinking cream jumped up from his chair and went to the boys side saying as he did “don’t stop concentrating ,now is the moment you must find the will to make the knight upright again. You have made him move, you can certainly make him stand.”
In the distance the boy heard the hermit´s voice as he imagined he was on the back of Molly. He could see himself on the black mare, dressed in armor, charging over the meadow at full speed, while across the meadow stood the black king, his sword drawn waiting to fight him to the death as he urged Molly on to battle. Suddenly the white knight righted its self and leaped to the other side of the board. The boy felt the hermit´s hand on his shoulder and heard him say “That is enough for today. You must go home and tell your aunt that I thank her for the delicious pies and allowing me to teach you chess, you are a good student. Now it is time for me to take a nap”.
At suppertime the uncle asked the boy what he had learned from the hermit about the game of chess. “I have now learned how to move the knight and I understand how the king can be moved also, uncle.”
“Do you hear that? That is all he has learned from that lazy old fool who drinks my cream and eats my desserts, that is all he has been able to teach this stupid boy. School starts soon and winter is coming. Fire wood needs to be cut from the forest and brought home to dry so we are warm when the cold arrives. I want this nonsense to stop soon.” The aunt also agreed that the chess lessons did not have priority over the harvesting of fire wood. She said to the boy, “You have heard your uncle and he is ruler of this home. You will stop seeing the hermit at the end of this week, which is our decision. You have three more days, now take the horse for water and don’t complain” The boy nodded his head and said “I do understand aunt.”
As the boy lead Molly down the lane to the spring he noticed that she was limping and her front leg fetlock swollen badly. When he had returned her to the barn gave her a portion of oats, rubbed liniment on her ankle then he went directly to his uncle to tell him. “Uncle, Molly´s ankle is swollen and she is in pain, something is wrong and I don’t think she should be made to drag logs out of the woods until she is better.” The uncle got up from the table, he yelled at Jimmy´s aunt. ” What do you think of this stupid brat, he is now a veterinarian and just told me what to do with my horse? That dumb horse is going to pull logs this week, lame or not, that is final.”
That night Jimmy dreamed he was flying. He was high in the air and gliding with the wind over Horseshoe pond. He could see the orange and black turtles and bright green frogs sitting on rocks and logs sunning themselves as the sunbeams sparkled on the water. Then he saw his aunt standing on a small island in the middle of the pond. She was picking golden peaches from a tree that its leaves had turned snow white. As he sailed overhead she looked up and called out to him but he could not hear what she had said.
Then he awoke and the dream vanished.
Even before the first glow of morning pink showed on the horizon. Jimmy had dressed and was in Molly´s stall rubbing her ankle with more liniment. He looked into her brown eyes, patted then kissed her big nose and said, “Don’t worry Molly you will soon be better and I won’t ever let him hurt you.” then he left to finish his morning chores.
This morning there were no pies or muffins in the pantry to take to the hermit. His aunt had finished the daily baking fresh bread and it lay on a shelf cooling, he asked her if he might take a slice to the hermit. She turned from her work bench and said to the boy, “Of course you can Jimmy, and also take him a jar of strawberry jam. I know he will like that. Tell him about Molly, he has a way with animals and perhaps he can give you a poultice to put on her ankle to ease her pain.”
Part 3
The dance of Mercurys shoes

It was still early when jimmy stood in front of the hermit´s front door, a large slice of fresh bread in one hand and the jar of jam in the other. ” Mister Hermit are you up! I have come to learn, but also I need your help. Are you home sir? The hermit opened the door dressed only in his red wool underwear and still barefooted, he rubbed the sleep from his eyes. Then he saw the bread and jam, “Of course I am up, and I am also hungry, come in, sit down and tell me what is troubling you while I put my trousers on.” “Mister Hermit, our horse Molly has gone lame. My aunt said to tell you as she thinks you can help her get better. Also, I have only three days left to learn how to fly then I will have to work in the woods with my uncle cutting trees for winter firewood. Then school will begin and I won’t see you till next spring.” “Is that all?” the hermit said as he smiled. “Let me first eat my breakfast then we will find solutions to these things that have you so perplexed. When he had eaten the bread and emptied the jam jar. He said to the boy “Do you know anything about the Greek God Mercury?”
Wondering what a Greek God that he knew nothing about had to do with his troubles, Jimmy shook his head. “I thought not little boy, but He is a part of the answer to your problems. In Greek mythology Mercury had a pair of sandals that made it possible for him to fly. Together we are going to invent a pair for you, so you can also fly. All we need is for you to take off your shoes, place them on that chess table then using your imagination and the concentration you have already developed with the knight. You will make those shoes fly to the other side of this room. Now, you think of something that is so important that you need a pair of shoes with wings so you can fly. Meanwhile I will find a book that has a remedy for what is wrong with Molly.” Jimmy took off his worn out shoes and placed the on the table. He no longer doubted the hermit´s word. What he was uncertain about was the ability to imagine anything so important that he really needed to fly.
Jimmy was so deep in thought that he did notice the hermit put on his boots and coat then take a willow basket and his axe then open the door to leave. It was only when a draft of cold air brought a shiver to his spine he looked up and saw that the hermit was about to leave. “There is cold weather coming. “ He said as he buttoned his coat and put on a pair of gloves. “I will be back soon with herbs that will help your horse,” Then he closed the door leaving Jimmy is silence to think. It was the cold air that made the boy to remember his dream of flying in the fall air over Horseshoe pond. He remembered the island and his aunt .Now he thought of the cold, suddenly he saw himself standing on the island next to her. A bitter wind was blowing snow through the air. The peach tree had lost its leaves and stood like a black skeleton. The water in the pond had turned to an icy froth as the wind shrieked across it. He heard his aunt say to him. “You must find help Jimmy for I am so cold and my dress is so thin that I will soon die.” Jimmy thought of the hermit who lived close by, suddenly he was flying across the water going to find help for his beloved aunt.
At that moment the hermit returned with the basket full of peppermint leaves, fresh pine needles, cones and chunks of resin from cedar trees. As he set the basket down Jimmy´s worn tennis shoes suddenly took flight. “Well, well, you have exceeded my expectations little boy, I honestly was not sure you would find a way to make them fly.” Picking the floating shoes out of the air the hermit gave them to Jimmy. “Now is the time for me to show you how to make them walk up the wall and over the ceiling. Before you put these on your feet, I must tell you that the things I teach you are not to be used on childish pranks, you will not be able to go to school and fly to the top of the flagpole and impress your friends, or go flitting around the land like a swallow chasing insects on a summers evening and you most certainly cannot fly into the church steeple and ring the bell on Sunday mornings to impress the town folks. The only way you can fly is if, and when, those you love are in grave danger. Also, you must know that your ability to fly will only last as long as you have imagination and honesty. I will first put these herbs in a pot to soak. Then I will show you how to make Mercury’s shoes walk across the ceiling.
“Do you recall the first time we met and I told you that I could teach you to fly like a bumble bee? Well now is the moment. The bumble bee cannot fly in the beginning of its life. First it must crawl as its wings grow, then it needs to exercise those wings until they are strong enough for it to defy the force of gravity. You are now like that baby bee, I want you to put on your shoes and imagine you are a baby bee, and then you will begin to climb the wall, and when you have reached the ceiling just like the bee you will be able to walk upside down across it.” Entranced by the hermit’s voice, Jimmy put on his shoes and began to climb. Up the wall he went not fearing to fall .When he reached the ceiling the hermit said, “you have done the hardest part, walking across the ceiling will be easy. Hearing the hermits encouraging voice the boy crawled onto the ceiling then stood up. He looked down to see the hermit standing below him, tears of happiness flowing from beneath his spectacles. “You have done it my boy, let go of all fear and you will float in the air.” Suddenly Jimmy was floating around the room. So excited was the hermit he burst into laughter, singing at the top of his creaky voice, “Dance Jimmy, dance on air, dance with your heart filled with joy.” So Jimmy danced. He did the foxtrot, and then he waltzed, and did the polka, while the hermit stomped, clapped and whistled below. Then he slowly floated down to the chair he had been sitting in.
Chester the hermit was very excited; he took the boy by the arm and pulled him out the door. He pointed to the very same tree that he had told the boy to fly up to its top many weeks earlier. “One more test to see how well you can fly little boy. Now I want you to fly up to the topmost branch of that tree and tell me what you can see from there.” Without a second thought Jimmy lifted up into the morning air and flew to the top of the very tall tree. When he was comfortably perched, he looked across the country side where he saw the meadow and his uncle´s farm. Why, he could see all the way to the village, and the dirt road that led to his school house. He could see his aunt standing in front of the cloths line and the white bed sheets fluttering in the wind. Suddenly he noticed his uncle with a whip driving Molly towards where the wood yard and the wagon were. He yelled down to the hermit. “My uncle is taking Molly to haul wood”. Upon hearing this, the hermit shouted back to the boy. “Come down right away, that idiot is about to permanently lame her.” Jimmy looked down and suddenly realized how far up in the air he was. “I am afraid I will fall, it is a long way to the ground”. “Jimmy!” the anxious hermit called to him “You flew up there with no trouble. You can most surely fly down as easily. Now hurry Molly is in danger, we have no time to lose, let go of that limb and come back to earth. Now!!”The thought of Molly in pain was all that the boy needed to set free of the tree limb. As he was floating back to earth he noticed a glint of gold protruding from twisted roots of a neglected pear tree. He opened his arms, changing direction. Now he was falling head first at breakneck speed. When he was very close to the pear tree he raised his arms, threw back his head and spread his legs. Then he settled feet first to the ground with the grace of a swan landing on the water of Horseshoe pond. He walked over to the tree reached down and pried from its twisted roots a gold pocket watch, turning it over he wiped away the dirt clinging to it. Then he saw the inscription engraved into its case. “To Chester with love, Lilly” Walking over to the hermit he gave it to him. The hermit looked at it for a second, saying to the boy, “You have found a part of that which I had lost many years ago.” Then he put it in his pocket and told the boy, “I will explain this to you one day when you are older. Now you must fly to Molly and stop that cruel man from harnessing her to the wagon. Fly now Jimmy and I will be along as fast as I can with the poultice for her leg. Fly, fly now, her life depends on you.” Instantly Jimmy was in the air, flying towards the woodlot with the speed of a falcon.
He found the Uncle was there angrily harnessing Molly to the loaded wagon. He suddenly heard Jimmy say. “Stop that uncle you must not let Molly work for another week it will cause her too much pain.” Surprised to hear the boy´s voice behind him he turned and said. “How did you get here you interfering brat” and struck the boy knocking him to the ground and bloodying his nose. “Don’t you tell me about pain you brat, my back hurts from loading this wagon and this dumb horse is going to haul it home now” Dazed and bleeding Jimmy launched himself at his uncle, kicking him on his shin. Again the uncle struck the boy who fell stunned to the ground, he turned to the frightened horse cursing it and hitting it with his whip.
Molly’s brown eyes were wide with pain, fear, and hatred of the man. She reared up, her front legs flailing in the air, her warhorse instincts now in control. She lashed out with her iron shod hooves knocking the whip from her cruel masters hand. The next strike was the one to deliver the fatal blow to the side of her tormenters head.
She broke free, and then started to run for the sanctuary of her stall in the barn. She was about to trample the fallen boy when he heard the hermits voice say “Now is the time, you must fly to the branches of the oak. I will take care of the horse.” Instantly Jimmy found he was standing on a large branch safely out of harms way. The hermit then spoke in whispers as he calmed the terrorized Molly down. “Hello, Molly do you remember me? I am the man who named you?” The horse stopped still as the hermit stroked her shivering body “So you have not forgotten me after all these years old girl.”
Then saying to the boy “you can come down now, I want you to go as fast as you can to your aunt Lillian, tell her what has happened and give her this watch. Jimmy tried to fly but he could not, he looked at the hermit wondering why. The hermit understood his confusion and said.” There is no danger now. That is why you cannot fly. Now run Jimmy, run, and I will soon come with Molly and your uncle´s body.
Jimmy was in the farm yard when curiosity got the better of him; He stopped, looked at the watch then saw a small button which he pressed. The case lid opened; inside he saw an enamel painting of a young handsome woman. He knew in an instant it was his great aunt Lillian.
The End
__________________
"What a large volume of adventures may be grasped within this little span of life by him who interests his heart in everything"-Lawrence Sterne
Reply With Quote
  #149  
Old 01-07-2017, 09:37 AM
joseph engraver's Avatar
joseph engraver joseph engraver is offline
Platinum
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Sarzana,Italy
Posts: 562
Default A place to find inspiration

There is a canal directly behind my home here in Italy that was started in 1794. It was completed by Mussolini before the start of WWW2 and is called the Lunenense Canal .It is fed by the Magra River and provides irrigation to my garden and all the homes built near to it for a distance of fifty kilometers...Recently the Italian government has completed a hiking, biking and jogging trail along it, giving me a wonderful place to take photos and think while i take my dog for walks...I would like to walk the whole distance, but I seriously doubt that will happen.
The story of The Hermit and the Boy has now been translated into Italian by Franca and is being reviewed by a publisher here, and I have my fingers crossed.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg al Italy pix 001.jpg (68.0 KB, 0 views)
File Type: jpg al Italy pix 002.jpg (78.0 KB, 0 views)
File Type: jpg al Italy pix 003.jpg (86.6 KB, 0 views)
File Type: jpg 005.jpg (42.1 KB, 0 views)
File Type: jpg 007.jpg (60.5 KB, 0 views)
File Type: jpg 008.jpg (63.9 KB, 0 views)
File Type: jpg al Italy pix 006.jpg (81.6 KB, 0 views)
File Type: jpg canal 001.jpg (104.7 KB, 0 views)
File Type: jpg 006.jpg (69.9 KB, 0 views)
__________________
"What a large volume of adventures may be grasped within this little span of life by him who interests his heart in everything"-Lawrence Sterne
Reply With Quote
  #150  
Old 01-07-2017, 12:40 PM
DKanger DKanger is offline
Platinum
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: West TN
Posts: 269
Default Re: New studio

Joseph,
I lust over those two cars. If I were younger, I would try to buy them and have them shipped over. Alas, I am in the process of restoring my last car and it's taking me way too long. I sold my shop when I retired and working out of a home garage is a young man's game.



It's a Pontiac Catalina wagon and is all apart for paint and I just picked up a 455 engine that needs to be rebuilt.

__________________
Dave Kanger

Some men are wise, some are other wise.
Reply With Quote
Reply

Bookmarks

Thread Tools

Posting Conduct
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 03:11 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.6
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.