Monday, June 21, 2010
This Artist's Father; an "Homage."
Having parents whose roots were as farmers, and also owners of the local Country Store,
certainly contributed, in a big way, to forming me as the artist I continue to be.
Note that the price of gas, in the early '60s, was .31 cents a gallon.
in the thirties. Dad's first name is actually William, but the nickname "Buddy" stuck
because everyone agreed he was quite the handsome man, and looked a lot like
a popular movie actor of the time, "Buddy" Rogers.
Pop had stopped working in the local Feed Mill, and had returned to his first love,
farming, to provide for his young family. As someone who has always enjoyed
communing with his fellow humans, he soon was selling vegetables out of the
back of his truck, as a "Huckster." Buying the store up the road was an obvious
and loved all these many years. He ventures within a 10 or 15 mile radius of his house,
which sits in a field where I used to sweat, as a kid, picking cucumbers under
the hot, humid, South Jersey sun.
holidays, delicious Pumpkin Pies. When he finally retired and turned the store over to my
brother Bob, Pop was honored as "Citizen of the Year," which really irked our Mother,
'cause she, most definitely, had been right there at his side, working long hours pumping
gas, filling shelves, and raising her sons, just as Pop had done.
ritual, and also never having smoked or drank, has contributed to his ongoing longevity.
He sent me to Art School on money made playing "the Horses," which he still does.
what everybody ordered for dinner, on the drive back from the track, 30 years ago.
And for the past 10 years, he has been singing many of his favorite old songs, like
"Send Me The Pillow You Sleep On," into his tape-recorder, and doing so
"A Capella," in a strong voice. He's been known to leave his songs on the message
machines of female friends, who call him every day, to see if he's OK.
Although this tough old South Jersey farmer is slowing down more than a bit,
I cannot tell you how many times, as we enter his Doctor's Waiting room for
a check-up, he smiles at a fellow patient, and asks. "You know my only problem
these days? Too many Birthdays!"
I can only hope to be so fortunate. And in fact, I am.
Bud Ternay is my Father.