Saturday, May 06, 2006

Old Ghosts

A few posts ago I noted that my wife's father, William White, was an artist. I also hung up a few photos of his paintings and pretty much left it at that. This one has always intrigued me. I've called it "Old Ghosts" ever since I saw it...I have no idea what Bill called it, but some day I’ll do a story that resonates within this thing. Bill was not a fan of fantasy or horror, yet his private work – the work he did for himself and not for hire – invariably posed dark questions and frequently offered no answers. Of course he was a southerner.

Sad. I barely knew him and what I did know was based on the understandings of a very, very young man who was courting his daughter with no hope of winning her.


Mel said...

Jeeez. How do they find you?

Anyway. I love that painting! He really was a talented man. It makes me think of how houses kind of soak up the people that inhabit them; ever moved into a new place, and kind of instinctively create a mental idea of who had lived there before, perhaps just by the scent of the air, or a chance-found scrap left behind?
In our old house, I kind of "knew" the woman who lived there first. She would have been a new bride; her husband would have had the house built for her. It was 1928, and they had a manservant. She was fiercely proud of her rhododendrons and her roses.
I could go on and on... but that's kind of what that made me think of.
Is that what you meant?

Larry Santoro said...

Something like that, Mel. When I was 5, we moved from the house in which I was born to a huge old place that was built in the 1870s. Four floors with lots of old nooks and lots of place-specific dust. From the roof and top floor you could see much of the city and the mountain behind us. The whole place reeked of 'others' and other times.

I knew that old lady who had owned the place only as a distant image of a big woman with a locally famous name. Her family had owned a tobacco wholesale company and a large cigar store. Items from her family's businesses filled the local historical society...big scary things that I imagined had once lived in our house...

What am I doing!? I'm turning a response into a post!

I'll do more on this one anon!

Thanks, Mel!

Wayne Allen Sallee said...

No, Larry. You are turning into me, only I am worse because I do it verbally. I can tell longer asides and riffs than the length of the story I am reading. You are right, though. This should be another post, dude.