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Watercolor sketches of Indiana Fall leaves. The leaves haven’t turned yet but will in just a few weeks. This is one thing I will miss once moved to Florida. You have really missed out on a gift from God if you’ve never walked through a woods with turning leaves, or even better yet walk into a woods and just sit on a stump and watch the beautiful dance of golden leaves falling. And even better yet, take your kids or grandchildren with you and sit quietly, and admire the beauty of the woods and the creatures that live there. It’s time we all slow down and be thankful for the beauty given to us, and not let it pass without notice.
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On this Indiana rainy day, I thought that I would post this painting I did a few months ago. The weather is moving into the fall season and it’s been fairly dry, but with this rain today, hopefully the burst of fall foliage will take bloom. Southern Indiana is supposed to be one of the most beautiful areas in the world to capture the beauty of colorful fall leaves. With our huge variety of trees, the colors burst into an explosion of oranges, yellows, reds, deep red, purple, rust and green. To view some wonderful photos type in Nashville, Indiana fall foliage or Brown County, Indiana on google image.
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My daughters are getting ready to move to Florida and one will be working with Winter the dolphin missing a tail replaced by a prosthetic. There was a movie released about it called A Dolphin Tail starring Harry Connick, Jr. and Ashley Judd. She will be working with several mammals at the Clearwater Marine Aquarium. Along with that, she will be swimming with these huge but adorable creatures. \
I have painted several wildlife of different colors series and they seem to be really popular, so I thought that I would do one of the Manatee to go with the series. Although this one isn’t finished yet, it is all watercolor and will be matted to fit a 16″ x 20″ frame.
I hope you enjoy, and I will post the final product once finished.
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These are two recent watercolors of mine that will be given away for two important reasons. The first will be going to a friend of my daughters for a Valentine Day gift for his wife. It’s easy to go out and buy flowers or candy, but something unique or handmade, always made more sense to me and I hope his wife loves it.
Although important for this friend, the second painting is a life changer. Maybe not the painting, but what it will be auctioned off for hopefully will be. A high school friend of mine will be auctioning off the original, and will be offering prints to purchase in order to raise money for children with Epilepsy, and has a need for a trained early warning dog by their side. Knowing how important these dogs can be to change, and save lives, it was an easy choice to donate. My daughter trains dogs for the military PTSD, and other specially trained dogs, not only are the dogs amazing, but the trainers are equally amazing. The Gala and Auction will be held in Indiana and I hope that the auction is successful and will be able to supply several children with the dogs that they desperately need as a companion, and early warning alert system.
As an artist, I believe that God has given me (us) a gift to use as a craft to make a living, and help others that are in need. Please as an artist, give your time and art to special charities, churches, or any other group that may need just a little help.
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Now I’m not one to stop very often, always moving, working, playing, and as a famous wise man once said “Git-R-Done” kind of guy, but when I stop there’s nothing better than a porch swing or a rocking chair. As I was painting this, although lonely in feeling, you have to wonder how many thoughts are, and were going through his mind while rocking in this chair for years. Front porches are a lost communication tool that needs to be brought back. Kids are missing out on the benefit of getting chewed out for swinging to high on the front porch swing that was meant for a gentle swing (been there done that). To many teenagers have missed out on the gentle swing or glide, outside, while parents are inside (probably peeking out the window) holding hands for the first time, first time kiss, all while swaying in a gentle way, almost seemingly to comfort both young nerves (been there done that). And then there is the wonderful time of holding your baby in your arms while swinging, or the proudest grandparent holding their grand baby remembering back when they held their own on the same swing or rocker (been there done that). Couples finally calling it a day and swinging together as they did when teenagers and discussing future plans, and just relaxing (been there done that). And then as the later years of life set in, to be able to sit in that same swing or rocker that holds so many memories of family, love, and yes even some pain, still brings back a little comfort to life and usually a smile. My Mother-In-Law passed about a year ago and one of the last pictures taken was all the family sitting on the porch swing remembering the wonderful times that we had with both parents, it once again brought the family love and thoughts together in a way that they would love to see. I’m sure there is a mental reason why people and babies have always enjoyed the rocking motion, but I do know that I plan to ROCK my life away and I hope you ROCK ON with me!
6″ x 6″ watercolor with pen and ink sketching
These are two of five painting that I did while on vacation in Destin, Florida. The little girl was adorable in a pink tutu and unfortunately I didn’t see the parents again after I had painted her. So if the parents see this post please contact me.
The Sea Turtle is actually painted with Destin Florida Ocean Water and was inspired by a sea turtle seen while deep sea fishing with my daughters.
What’s more important than these paintings, are the wonderful people and friends that we met while on vacation. You hear of the bad in people now days, but what we forget is how much good is still out there. People from all over the world and the U.S., came up to me and by weeks end, were what I would consider a friend, even if we never see them again. A man and his family from St. louis even invited me out to camp and do some fishing some day. Now considering that he wasn’t happy to be there because he had hopes of visiting Canada instead of the beach, I think by the weeks end (we won’t tell his wife) but he had a good time!
Another, was a young man, I’m guessing around 9 or 10, was watching me from behind while I painted, and being very stealthy and polite about it. I started to talk to him and found out that he loves art, and his mother from Italy confirmed it. His parents were from Italy and War zone Bosnia, which was fascinating, but we talked about his art and how he had been watching me paint. before they left I presented them with an original watercolor that I had painted earlier that day and you would have thought that I just gave him gold. This means so much more than money to me, to see this young man being so kind, polite, and appreciative, it was an easy choice. i hope someday he will become a famous artist, look back and remember that day, and maybe make another young person excited by giving one of his pieces away. he finished off by telling his mother that this was very special and had to be hang in a special spot… better than money any day!
Thank you all that we met on the beach of Destin, Florida, I hope you had as much fun as my family and who knows maybe we will see you again at the beach real soon!
I hope to soon semi-retire to a coastal area, and I hope that I can continue to do what I do as far as painting and the arts, but more than anything, I hope I can inspire young and old to pick up a pencil, brush or clay and become creative.
Sisters… who needs them? I do, I do! My family means so much to me, and my sisters are no exception. I painted this painting for my sister that helps me so much with my parents and is there when I need her. Ever since my parents got there divorce when we were really young, all of the siblings have been extremely close and helped each other get thru several very ugly years of divorce. Because of this, we have a special bond that goes beyond most siblings relationships. To all my siblings far and near, thank you for your love and help thru troubled and wonderful times!
I’m not sure which is older and in worse shape, this old school building or myself! This is a one room school building here in southern Indiana that a friend has located in her backyard. This 5″ x 7″ pen and ink, watercolor painting that I did was painted from a photo that she had taken earlier.
It’s funny to me, when I think of all the brilliant people who was taught in schools similar to this. Abraham Lincoln for one, actually grew up just miles from this school, and that’s not counting the great Philosophers, Engineers, Inventors, Astronomers, Physicist, etc. that we’re taught and excelled in classrooms similar to this. I hold education so important seeing that I wasted mine earlier in my life, but my question to you is why is it that we keep spending more and more money, millions upon billions on improving our schools and yet getting horrible results. A local high school has received millions and looks like the best of any small college in technology, and yet the graduation rate is less than 75% and minority rate is even much lower. Maybe it isn’t the money spent, but what has changed in the areas of discipline (in schools, but more importantly at home), pride of both the child and parents, the respect for elders, parents and teachers from a child, and hard work, and that flat-out means stop being lazy America, whether your a child or an adult. I think it’s time we stop using money as an excuse for our problems and start looking at ourselves for the answers. A new computer can’t teach life lessons to a child, like that of a person who loves them. Time to step-up, be the person that you were meant to be. Yes it’s hard work, time-consuming, and sometimes heart breaking, but like I have always told my daughters, most things that come easy aren’t worth having, and the rewards that are received after so much effort… is worth millions (or something like that).
Everyone have a great weekend, and let’s make a change for ourself and others that we touch this weekend!
Ho Ho Ho, with a frost-bitten toe. His face is red, and he’s been way over fed. But still delivering the goods, whether you live in the city or in the woods. Okay, I know, that’s enough of that, so I’ll stop. But what I was getting to is each year some of us receives gifts for Christmas and I was wondering what have been some of your favorites Christmas gifts in the past. This is my Santa print for 2012 and will be available soon.
Some of my favorites;
1. Red Rider BB gun, that’s right just like in the movie. With red rider on the side and a leather strap hanging from a ring… loved it!
2. My first official nice stereo with high-speed dubbing cassette recording, with speaker past the hips in height… that’s right, the bigger the better in those days.
3. Anything hunting and fishing
What are some of your favorites?
Hot off the press, My first Limited Edition, numbered, signed, 4 color digital litho Prints of my “Santa’s Wink” watercolor. The print has an image size of 12″ x 16″, and printed on a Heavy Acid Free 80lb cover stock, that can be easily matted and framed in a standard 16″ x 20″ frame. I’m sure this would make a wonderful gift for that person who have everything, collects Santas or just to fill a spot with a holiday touch. I appreciate all of you, and I hope that you will help me out and do some marketing for me.
Limited Edition (500, and only 500) Digital 4 color Litho Print
Signed and numbered by the artist
12 3/4″ x 17″ sheet size / 12″ x 16″ Image size
80lb Heavy Cover Stock Acid Free Paper
$35.00 + SH
Thank you again!
Questions, life is full of questions. I’m not talking about those questions that have definite answers, you know, the ones asked in school, although I didn’t have answers for very many for those either, But they did have answers. The questions that I’m talking about are those in our past that made us stop and either wonder why, or possibly cry, because we questioned. One of my most tearful questions for years, was my mom divorcing my dad. I was nine, and I can tell you that this tore major holes in my heart, so I questioned why. The loss of my grandparents that were the most religious and God-loving people, and yet taken by cancer, I questioned why. The meeting of my wife in high school, her being so good, and I was a waste, but she still found love with me, I questioned how I deserve this. The birth of my two brilliantly smart and absolutely beautiful both physically and within their hearts, I questioned how did I deserve them. There were times that I questioned my faith, and just wanted to scream to the Lord above, WHY! Why would you take such wonderful, God-loving people, that were some of the purist of Christian love so early in life. I didn’t just question, but I was angry. How could the Lord take a young child and allow cancer to eat their bodies away until death, and yet allow, what could be a healthy person, kill their bodies with drugs and alcohol. But I do know, after months, or years after I questioned why on these occasions, there always seemed to be an answer given. Unfortunately, so many people and especially young kids, question, but don’t allow enough time to go by to see the answer. My wife’s cousin, and a good high school friend of mine both questioned, but took their lives before they could receive and answer. The sad thing is, if they would have given it a day, or weeks, I’m sure that both would have been living a good life today with children and a wife, but sadly they’re gone.
What I wanted to show in this painting was pain being felt, but a prayer bringing a glimpse of hope into this young girls heart and eyes. Watching my girls grow, and go through high school, I have seen a lot of pain in their hearts, and I remember having that pain myself as a child and young adult, where you weren’t sure if your heart can take anymore pain, and whether it was all worth it. I can tell you, it is worth it, be strong, work hard at everything you do, and most importantly, have Faith, have Faith in yourself, friends, family and most importantly in God. Don’t hold things in, it’s not worth it, talk to your friends and family about things that bother you, but most importantly, close your eyes, open your heart, and pray. As you grow in faith, you will grow in confidence, friendships, and the love of life.
The painting is a 9″ x 9″ watercolor on 140lb cold press paper. I did this one, and another ATC last night while watching football. This is a first of this style for me as a portrait, and it’s a must for you to try.
It’s been a long, long time since I had tied one on (a lure), but hopefully soon that will all change. I love to fish as most of you know, not just to get fish, but for all the reasons that come with it. I have so many memories of my dad and I going fishing when I was young. So along with my quick painting, I wrote a little diddy about those memories.
It was the night before the trip, and sleep was what I was needing. For you see before the sunrise, I was to be awaken and the words let’s go, would ring through the air. I would shut my eyes in hopes of falling fast asleep, but that didn’t work because the excitement of fishing was racing through my head in the hopes of out fishing my dad, or catching the biggest one. Finally after what seemed like forever, I would fall asleep. After, what seemed like 10 minutes of sleep, my dad would come into the room and try to stir me out of bed, before he could say let’s go, I was up, throwing clothes on and headed for the door. My Uncle that went with us a lot, had an old truck and the boat, so we would meet him at his house. We loaded up and headed out, but first was a stop at the local gas station to get in a glass bottle… yes kids that’s right, glass, ice-cold glass bottle of yahoo chocolate milk for me, and soda for them, along with a few sweet snacks… breakfast of champions! The old soda machine was the type that you opened a chest like top, put your money in, and then slid your bottle (ice-cold) along a maze like track till it reached the end and came out. We ere now on our way and by this time the sun has just begun to bring its brilliance to the horizon. We would finally reach the lake, but the lakes always seemed to be way out in the middle of a weedy pasture, so we would drive as far out as possible and then my dad and uncle would carry the boat the rest of the way. I would trail behind carrying rods, boxes and drinks, and wearing shorts (important later), very seldom did I wear shirt or shoes, and always shorts (important later). We then would reach the quick sand like mud at the edge of the lake, you know the type of knee-deep mud that sucks your feet down, and won’t let go of your shoes or boots. Finally we are in the boat ready to cast for bass, blue gill or anything else that might tug at our line. About noon we would get our sandwiches that my mom would make that had been floating in a bag back and forth in the water at the bottom of the boat, a little soggy, but good after fishing all morning. Once we got our stringer full or it was late we would head back to the truck. Of course on the way home I would fall asleep because of the all day sun and getting up before sunrise, and the only thing that would awaken me was the constant clank of the yahoo and soft drink bottles (Glass) rolling back and forth on the pickups floor. My dad and uncle would clean the fish, and then it was off to go back home, bath, and go to bed. With the memories of the one that got away, or the big one that was now in our freezer, or how great the yahoo tasted that morning, just a full day of great memories. Something I will take with me to my grave. Thank you dad for taking the time, and for scraping enough money together to buy those ice-cold (in the bottle) drinks, and also my uncle that had the boat, truck, and the time to go with us.
But for the (important later) inserts, I’ll do a math like description:
Shorts – shirt – bugs spray of any kind + waist-high weeds = CHIGGERS!
From the belt line down, and I’m including some very important parts here, nothing but chiggers bites! I have counted 40-50 just in the waist line area (including some very important parts), and even more down the legs. Now for you that don’t know what chiggers are, they are flea like pest that bite and embed themselves in your skin and create an unbelievable itch. I can hear some of you laughing… and shame on you, and you know who you are, but this was serious stuff for days and days afterwards! Three words for you that find this funny… Very Important Parts!
My, my, my how time flies, these two little girls of mine are now 16 and twenty years old. Although I’m very proud how both turned out with an amazing intelligence and beauty. They have both given me a lifetime worth of love and memories. memories of walking hand in hand with my oldest to the local store to get an ice cream, while waiting for her mom to get off work down the street. I know this doesn’t sound like much, but the true heartfelt love that we shared in daily stories and learning on that walk, makes for a wonderful memories. The memory of building their play house and swing by hand just to watch my youngest swing all day, right side up, upside down, twirling in circles, up to the age that most would have stopped. Sure there are memories of birthday parties, vacations and all the bigger moments of memories, but it was some of the small things that meant so much to me. It did help that our girls were disciplined early, so by time they were 2 or 3 we could take them anywhere and never had to worry about fits or misbehavior. They learned early that dad would not put up with that. For you younger couple or those about to have children, may I give you some advice that you might have had or heard before. Spend as much time with your kids as possible, they do grow up so fast that moments missed are never going to come back. Walk with your kids and truly listen to them and what they are saying. Play with them as though you were a child once again. But most importantly, remember you are their IDOL, that doesn’t last forever, so make sure you enjoy every moment of it. Also from the very beginning of their lives, you are the main teacher of life and habits for your child. If you show love easily, they will show love, if you show anger constantly, they will show anger, if your habits are bad (smoking, drinking, abuse of any kind), odds are they will follow in those same foot steps. Now does this mean your children will be perfect, heck no. They’re kids, and I have a receding hairline and high blood pressure to prove it. But by working hard and putting so much love into your children, you have given them the best teaching and opportunity that you could give. Make sure you give your children just as much time alone with you as you would golf, hunting, t.v. or other past times. Don’t give your children new games or toys just so they will go away and play, all they will do is pile up in the corner along with the memories that you could have been making with your children. Well enough preaching and now for some of my memories.
1. Taking my girls fishing… learning to leave my gear at home because I was to busy getting their hooks out of the trees. Wouldn’t have missed it for the world!
2. The look in their eyes when first seeing the ocean… both always seeming to have one butt cheek that wouldn’t stay in their swim suites bottoms. Wouldn’t have missed it for the world!
3. Staying in a cabin with all their cousins and pulling and swinging them around on a quilt and a wood floor trying to force them off… learning how out of shape I was pulling them. Wouldn’t have missed it for the world!
4. The wonder and awe they had for everything Disney World could offer… Aerosmith’s rock-n-roll roller coaster ROCKS. Wouldn’t have missed it for the world!
5. Watching them come down the steps at Christmas time half a sleep, hair sticking out and their little long gowns on… tearing up now, sniffle sniffle. Wouldn’t have missed it for the world!
Don’t miss the chance of memories!
Don’t stare at it or you may start feeling a little dizzy… and not because your blonde. Finished this saturday morning for my youngest daughter. Click on the photo to get a better view. Have a great one!
Have you ever been so scared that you tried to run from something and even though your legs and feet were going a hundred miles an hour, you went no where? It’s like the old cartoon, where they were running so fast and not moving, that smoke started lifting from their feet. Well some us have seen it… not mentioning any names (brother), but it was the funniest thing I had ever seen. We were in my basement with a drop ceiling, where we suspected a mouse or rat had gotten in. We never had one before, so this was a new experience. So, I decided to put poison above the ceiling tile where we thought it was living. Now, not mentioning any names (brother) we ventured down the stairs, as I slowly lifted the ceiling, I saw a piece of ceiling insulation falling out. Being the teaser that I am, as it fell to where my brother (oops) could see it, I yelled loudly, THERE IT GOES! Catching a glance of something leaping from the tile, the man (my brother) started running like an Olympic sprinter, the only difference was, he ran in place practically burning a hole in the carpet. What he envisioned was this giant, man-eating, rat, pictured above, diving for his juggler. This was horribly mean of me, but I’m telling you, if you were there, you to would have laughed your head off. Oh, by the way we were both over the age of 35, not kids.
O.k. now that I’m going to catch hell from (my brother), I’ll tell one on myself. We were TPing (throwing Toilet Paper into the trees) at a friend’s house for Halloween. Iwas about 14 years old, 130 lbs, and apparently not very smart. I was with several older kids, some boys and girls. Anyway, in the process of TPing the dad of the person getting TPed comes busting out of the front door with a shotgun… acting like he was out to kill someone. He pointed the gun in the air and shucked a shell (we thought) into the chamber. Anyone who has hunted, knows the sound of a pump shotgun being loaded, and knows what a shotgun can do to you. Needless to say, I became an Olympic runner just like my older brother, only I was moving, when running. First of all, you can’t out run a shotgun, second of all, it was dark, Third and most important, when running in the dark at full speed, you have to watch for CLOTHES LINES! You guess it, at full speed, I ran my head and neck right into a clothes line and went instantly from an Olympic runner, to an Olympic gymnast, doing a triple flip, in pike position, right onto the ground (scoring all 10’s). All I could hear in the background was the shotgun bearing crazy man, laughing his head off, knowing he scared the CRAP out of me. Now, for the good news, after picking myself up in shame, still running, I leaped into the back of a pickup truck. No, that’s not the good news, the good news was, that a very attractive high school girl was leaping in after me and landing on top of me, Oh, did I mention that she was a high schooler, and I was in junior high.
There’s a couple of examples, now give me your moments, that you were scared the crap out of.
The content to this blog may be to graphic for the weak hearted or elderly… wait a minute that’s me! O.K., it’s a graphic, just a graphic, nothing scary, nothing gross, well at least not much, and kinda hot, but not obscene. I thought that I would do something a little different in style for the halloween theme, and go with a graphic style vampire . I enjoy halloween because it allows us to be a little crazy, creative, and it’s the only holiday that you’re supposed to be ugly, which is easy for us that are already ugly.
My family and I just spent the weekend at a halloween themed campground. The entire campground of more than 350 lots, decorate and create halloween scenes at each lot. The campground also has dances for the teens, pumpkin carving, ghost stories around a giant fire, and much more. Adults dress up and become kids for the weekend and enjoy each others company and food. Food, lots of food, to much food and guess what, I ate it all, I’m so ashamed. The campground is called Lake Rudolph in Santa Claus, Indiana, the web is lakerudolph.com. They started with 1 weekend and now due to popularity have grown to 6 weekends. They have 200 rentable campers that have a queen size bed, kitchen, dining room table, living area and a bedroom with 4 bunk beds, with heat, air, and kitchen appliances. I know what you’re thinking… that’s not camping, but as long as you have a huge campfire marshmallows and chocolate, that’s camping. Check it out and try to find a local campground and encourage them to due the same. They make a fortune off of it, and it’s great fun for family and friends.
Whether a trick or treat, leave me a comment!
This is a follow up on the last post. I finished this last night for my sister (metaphase). The scan once again isn’t the best but it gives you an idea on what it looks like. I’m testing out the best and least expensive way for some students to get into to watercolor. This set of 12, .4 oz tubes of reeves watercolors was $9.00, four nice brushes were $23.00 and watercolor coldpress paper. The barn painting was completed using this exact set. That’s one thing nice about watercolor, the tubes are small but the paint goes a long way.
There are some fantastic artist visiting my blog and I would love to hear your critics on my technic or directions to help improve my paintings. I haven’t been schooled at all, other than high school classes, so any suggestions are welcomed. I hope to be giving free classes over the winter just to get people into the arts and your suggestions will be helpful. I will learn from my students just as much as I will teach I’m sure.
Yep, you would think after painting and drawing for 30 years, I would have attempted an oil painting. But all through high school we weren’t allowed because of the ventilation problems, and I never went to college or had art training. Because of that I just became accustom to acrylics and other medias. This is the first oil painting ever for me, measuring 24″ x 36″ finished in 2007, which took about 10 hours. I get bored with the subjects and mediums so I change frequently. Not the best thing for a fine art career but it keeps me interested. The color and contrast isn’t the best due to poor camera pic, but it will give you an idea of what it look like.
I would gladly listen to suggestions from experienced oil artist, or anyone else with critic or direction.
I Started with the Owl, and then decided to make this long piece of scrap board a strip of predator eyes. It’s total measurement is 1 1/2″ x 8″ and was done in watercolors and pen. The subjects are the wolf, lynx (bobcat) and an owl, all with gorgeous eyes.
I hope you try something similar to this, it’s fun and fast. Some other ideas you might try are leaves, flowers or anything in a set, but start off simple.
Enjoy, get a set of school watercolors and give it a try!
Passion a great liking or enthusiasm for something or someone.
Where do I start? I have so many passions, they may be spread out to thin. But I would just as soon have it that way than to be passionless. I love hunting, fishing, painting, drawing, wood working and most of all, my family. I believe there is a huge difference between just doing things, and having a passion for them. For an example, to walk into the woods, shoot a deer and walk out, is killing not hunting. Both have the same end results, but to spend days scouting the woods noticing which trees have fallen from wind or age, the growth of new vegetation, the beauty of deer grazing in the fields, sitting for hours a day in a tree stand with birds of all kinds coming within feet of you not noticing you’re there. To have the golden and red leaves surround you one week, and to see them fall in a waterfall of gold, red and orange the next, and then to be almost in a meditational state, mesmerized by the beauty of falling snow in the woods and then to finally see a majestic animal walking towards you, an animal that has out smarted you so many times, finally walking within bow range. Your heart starts pumping at a rate that can even be dangerous for some, and then to end with a shot that you have practice so many times in order to make a clean, quick kill. Now that is what you call a passion for hunting, not just killing.
Why did I pick one of my sketches of a horse for this story? My daughter that is eighteen has found her passion, a passion and respect of equine. She has spent two years of her high school weekends mucking stalls (shoveling up the crap) and working around the stables in order for her to have and stable her own horse. Believe me when I say, this is no easy job. She’s 5’11, drop dead gorgeous and could have been doing other things that wouldn’t have made me near as proud as I am today. She is off to college next year to study equine science and management, and I hope her passion stays true.
While doing this sketch, I started thinking about the age, history and stories behind this beautiful old vehicle. How proud was the owner when purchased new, something at that time was rare. What kind of memories were made in and around it. I have so many memories in my parents cars, sleeping in the back window (before seat belt laws), Sticking my bare feet out the windows on a cool night, trips taken with my brother and sisters packed in like sardines and so much more. I guess like this old truck, as we age are cosmetic beauty fades, but our history, knowledge and inner beauty grows. So take a second look, what stories or memories do you see?