Monday, March 30, 2015

Painting the Barn

Courtesy of the redoubtable Brownie Reflex Synchro Model (Introduced to the trade in May, 1940 and still available on EBay!) these slices of the past were saved for your delectation. Looks like my brother Robert is doing the painting and David is watching from the haymow door.
 Here, Robert had moved to another board, but David is still just watching,
You can see the lovely deckled edge that was part of our photofinishing then.

Painting the Barn

The ghost of my good dog, Alice, 
sits at the foot of my ladder,
looking up, now and then touching
the bottom rung with her paw.
Even a spirit dog can't climb
an extension ladder and so,
with my scraper, bucket and brush,
I am up here alone, hanging on
with one hand in the autumn wind,
high over the earth that Alice
knew so well, every last inch,
and there she sits, whimpering
in just the way the chilly wind
whines under the tin of the roof--
sweet Alice, dear Alice, good Alice,
waiting for me to come down.

Ted Kooser

Splitting an Order, Copper Canyon Press, 2014, page 70.

I found this poem last night and could not resist posting these pictures tonight, The poem makes a good model for combining a memory with the present time when you have set your self the task of making such a poem.
And it looks like Marjory got in on this, too, but dropped out. Her ladder 
is still standing in the other photos, but not much more is painted.
We moved to The Farm in the summer of 1950 when Marji was a toddling infant, 
so these pictures were taken in the mid-fifties. I left home in 1953, 
but before that I had painting the metal roof of the farmhouse 
and the entire back of the new wood on the house addition. 
(One coat linseed oil, then two coats of white paint.) 
My $1.00 per hour accumulated in the bank, so I had some cash to take to college.

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