Saturday, January 11, 2014

World War II and The Greatest Generation Mixed Media Altered Cigar Box Hastypearl

World War II and The Greatest Generation
Mixed Media Altered Cigar Box
I'm not a Historian.
I'm a "MOODtorian".
You know. Someone who fantasizes about the past, and imagines what it was like.
My father had two daughters.
One born in the 1940's and one in the 1950's.
He loved us, but wasn't particularly demonstrative.
My guess is, his parents also weren't demonstrative.
He provided us with everything that we could have wanted. 
We never wanted for anything.
He worked from dark to dark,
and recovered from those hours, by watching sports on the weekends.
He prayed and he gave and he helped anyone that needed it. 
I asked my mother for some family photos, a while back.
I was sure that I could do something with them.
And I have.
Every photo that I could recognize a family member, was turned into a card or something.
I've always been seduced by the Past.
My parents small hometown in Texas, is still one of my favorite places for Dreaming.
Forget that the landscape is beautiful, it represents a time where throughout my entire childhood, while visiting our grandparents, we could roam the whole small town...and be Perfectly Safe.
What Adventures we had!
But those kinds of days, are over.
Children today, will never know that Freedom or Experience.
My father had a large family.
The sons served their country and none were lost.
They left their small hometown as young men that had basically never traveled,  and saw too much of the world.
I remember asking my father if we could go to Hawaii.
He said he had seen enough islands.
Those were the only words I ever remember him speak, referring to the War.   
My father was a radio operator on an Avenger plane.
The kind of plane that took off and landed on aircraft carriers that came to know what it was like to be slammed into, by kamikazes.
My father never spoke of it to me.
It wasn't until my oldest son, pieced together the story and made each family member for Christmas, an entire binder full of details, that I had a clue what his war experience looked like.
As for being a "Moodtorian"...
History classes, public television, movies and music have helped fill in the blanks for my imagination, of those days.
The strongest for me...the Music!
To this day...I listen to that era's music, a lot...those Swingers and Crooners, that I know that my Father also listened to...while far, far away...from home.
I learned the words of those songs, from him. 
I made this altered cigar box and dedicate it to that that epic horror.
Some survived it...and sadly, many didn't.
I gave the box to my mother for Christmas, this year.
There's something more, than cutting and stitching and gluing that goes on, when you quietly look into the face of your father as a child man, with his siblings, each in their different military uniforms.
What must it have been like to be together one last time, and wonder if they would see each other again?
From beyond those days, we now know what they went through, but they had no clue what was ahead of them, then.
I'm sure that it took way more than swingers and crooners to get them through those days of terror.
So, it was touching for me, even without the details or conversations with my father, to feel like I knew him better after this project.
We also now know what amazing men and women they were and the sacrifices that they make it possible for me as a child, to safely play in the streets of his hometown.
Many of you reading this are too young to have known a family member that lived through World War II, but many of you did.
This box is dedicated to those that we all knew...
and to my Father.
I hope that you will see it for more than an art piece.


I used photos, and letters and randomly tore a page out of an old dictionary, only to discover that it had the word...Papa, on it. That is what his grandchildren called him.
Those coincidences happen to me a lot when I'm creating.
I love it when it happens.

He had a way of making it look like he was on a vacation somewhere, having a ball.
I'm sure that he was acting...a lot.

I put some dried flowers in a handmade glassine paper envelope.

I pad and line the insides of all of my boxes.
I love to put lavender pouches inside, too.
My mother was an excellent seamstress when she was younger,
so I love to honor those arts by adding sewing notions.
Finally, some months back, I found a small box of beautiful seed beads in tubes with a 15cent
Winn's Store price tag on each one.
My father worked for that company most of his adult life.
Another beautiful...coincidence :)

I wish with this posting you could hear, the music that I can hear.
Maybe you would also see me as a little girl, standing on my fathers feet as he danced with me to it.
This box is dedicate to all of our Hero's...military or not.
I hope that you will share this posting with someone that you love...

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