The letter waiting for me at the Boulder post office was to determine whether I would catch a ride back to the East Coast with John Bragg or head to Yosemite with Michael Vergalla.

My brother, Dave (Howard), Tetons, Wyoming Summer of 1977

” Monday, June 20, 1977 after breakfast of pancakes and mud we began our journey.  The three of us, Howard, Nell and I rolled down the hill at about 7:30 AM leaving Mom and Dad and their instamatic cameras smiling and waving.  We’re pretty damn lucky to have folks like Dave and Annette.” (entry in the red sketchbook)

The odometer of the 1964 Dodge Dart read 67955.

The plan was to head across the country,  rock climbing along the way.  We would drive to Seattle to see our sister, Louise, then head to Boulder, Colorado where Howard was to start college in September.  The Dodge Dart would stay in Colorado. I would find a way to get back to the East Coast and set up housekeeping with Jason, a woodsman living in Franconia Notch, New Hampshire.  John Bragg had offered me a ride if his sales trip went as planned.  He was a sales rep for climbing gear and clothing. The letter informed me that his trip back to Boulder had been canceled.  After writing a letter to Jason, I threw my backpack into Michael’s blue van and headed West.  It was August 27, 1977

The Red Sketchbook, Family History beginning in 1977

My recent determination to fill the empty pages of my accumulated sketchbooks has led to another project. Flipping through the pages I realize they illustrate not only my history but my children’s history.  There are stories to be told, the memories triggered by the sketches.  Slowly, as time and energy permits, I will tell those stories.  The stories are for Alexis, Nicole and Mike.  The rest of you are welcome to read along.

Michael Vergalla driving the blue van, heading to California in the summer of 1977

I haven’t figured out how I’m going to do this yet.  If anyone has a good idea, I am open to hearing it.  What I thought I might do is to post something brief that links to a separate page under a new tab “Family History”.  That way, the artists that check in on this blog to see drawings and paintings can still enjoy a few of those without being bogged down with stories that may not be of  interest to them.

On another note:  I brought the plants in today. They thrived on the front porch this summer.  I spent many happy hours on the front porch drawing, painting and watching them thrive outdoors in the north light, protected by the roof from too much rain or sun.  I hope they make it through the winter indoors.

Indoors for the winter

There are three more huge pots of aloe in the bedroom, half a dozen more small plants as well as the nespera are in the Florida room and more oxalis in the bathroom.

Link to Family History Index Page

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