Sunday, June 22, 2008

Souvenir Painting from a County Fair c. 1920 (click on picture to enlarge)

The author James Mitchner wrote in his book Hawaii about a stone goddess being left behind on Bora Bora (thousands of miles away across the open seas). At the risk of his life, a new Hawaiian paddled all the way back and brought the little figure to his new home. There the goddess Pele was worshipped until the old religion was destroyed by Christian missionaries. The sacred rock ended up as a paper weight on the desk of a businessman in Honolulu. All the man knew was that it was somehow important to his family.
This little painting was done as a momento of a long ago state or country fair. It was one of those "dazzle the farmers" type of semi-art works that are occasionally sold as art today in motel room sales.
But, the old painting is very precious to me! It hung all my childhood (and, I think the youths of my brothers and sisters) usually in an entrance hall to where ever we called home. It symbolizes to me the security of a home that was far from financially secure, but a place where unconditional love was ready to surround us all.
Today, the painting is in the living room of Genevieve and Owen Rebbe in Cedar Falls, Washington.

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