I have a lot of things to do today, some really Important Things. I got up early to do them. Here’s how it went…
Got up early. Made coffee. It was cold, so I decided to fire up the wood stove for the first time in five months. My wood stove was being used to display artworks during the ‘wood stove off-season’, so that meant I had to find space on my wall for my newest acquisition, an encaustic mixed media work by talented young artist Fiona Small, entitled ‘Rose Window’.
So, moving artwork ensued. I decided to move a photograph of my grandparents and mother, taken in the Redwood Forest during a camping trip… I would say in 1927… to my Family Wall.
My Family Wall is kind a family tree… a place to put a lot of family photos I treasure. A few of parents and sisters, but mostly daughters and grandkids. The only one without a person in it, is of the Golden Gate Bridge… I like the GGB… it was taken by my granddaughter Isabel, while in her ‘I want to be a photographer’ phase… it is very good and makes me think of her, and that’s why it’s on the Family Wall.
There’s 1st Lieutenant Theodore Strutz, my dad not me. My favorite photo of my mother Edna, taken in the 40’s, with a photo of my daughter, the actress, in the play ‘Talley’s Folly’, with her hair in the same style as my mom, hanging above. Another one of the actress, taken in Chicago in the 80’s, when Krista took me to Graceland Cemetery…https://tedstrutz.com/2012/05/28/the-crusader-and-the-acting-student… it’s one of my faves, because it reminds me of some fun times we shared in that great city.
Another from Chicago, is when Ashley and I attended a wedding at Harry Carey’s Restaurant… she made me very proud to have her on my arm that night… and one 10 years before, with her sitting on my lap in our jewelry store.
Of course this required a lot of shifting around of photos on the Family Wall. And that required a lot of dusting and cleaning of the frames, which in turn brought out a lot of memories. This is why I like the Family Wall… the memories. Each photo tells a story, like the cast photo of The Man Who Came To Dinner… taken around ’72. Ann, the original family actress, was in the play, and I came in at the last minute to replace an actor who had quit the day before the show opened. Ann is right of center with the pearls. I made some important friendships in that play. Let’s play ‘Where’s Waldo’… can you find me?
I didn’t plan the Family Wall, I have lots of family photos elsewhere… even on the fridge… it just happened. There’s me with one of my favorite women at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC. It should probably be on my Madame X Wall… yes, I have one.
So, after the moving, dusting and remembering, I decided to share my Family Wall. I haven’t taken the time to write in TedBook for some time… people have been talking. “Too many Important Things to do”, I’d say.
Well, it’s now 1:30, and the Important Things still haven’t been done today… Or have they?
I think this was right before we got married in 1965… I was taking a drawing class from Robert Else at Sacramento State College. We were living at 23rd and J sts. Ann was wearing a green shift and sitting in a high back chair in the kitchen while I sketched her. I painted it the following week. She never liked it. In fact, my second wife, Annie, didn’t like it either, but that was because I insisted on having it on the wall… I figured it was on the wall when she met me, etc. I always liked it and thought it was a great work of art. My first and last painting.
Ann did not know I still had it. Ann did not know I was entering it in the San Juan County Fair Art Show. I was not expecting it to win a prize, much less First Place! My daughters Krista and Ashley knew I still had the painting and was planning to put it in the fair… they thought that was pretty funny.
I just happened, by chance, to run into them as they arrived at the exhibit hall… to view the photo and art shows. I realized they both came with her to see her reaction to the painting, so I tagged along with my camera… Surprise!!!