April 14, 2016

Inflating Beach Toy

Known as Inflating Beach Toy, I see this image is sold online.

Den favorite Rachel suggested I share more back story of this family portrait from my last post.

I love the chippy 1949 caption..

Here is a pic taken during the staging.

Artist Stevan Dohanos adjusting window and talking to grandmother Dodie while Auntie J gives rambunctious Uncle S sisterly scold and father, FRL, topping off convertible with petrol. Gas station owner Walt Brown at far left.

We had to sell the original (in my Uncle L's possession) to help pay Grandmother Dodie's medical care after dementia/Alzheimer's set in. A cruel irony that her charm & beauty, no doubt prompted their next door neighbor enlisting Dodie to pose as subject, was being sold off to cover costs for her last phase of life. Our family never talked of money and when Auntie J and I made the journey down to Naples, Florida to get Dodie (who had been widowed for over a decade) and bring her back to Chicago and placed in a facility for Alzheimer patients, Auntie J mentioned she had only recently discovered there was very little left of what had once been rather substantial financial resources. Nobody knew where the money went. We did discover that a close companion during the last few years, a very nice older gentleman named Art, had received some very significant checks from Dodie and also a car she had purchased and put in his name. Art was nowhere to be found upon arrival in Naples.  I raised the possibility of lawyering up and recovering some of that money but then realized and agreed with Auntie J and Uncle L that Dodie would have never wanted that as her friend Art did give her several years of devoted friendship and Dodie likely was quite generous.

Stevan Dohanos also did this stamp back in 1967.

                    After thinking about dear old Dodie, I decided I needed her in my life every day
                                         so retrieved my framed magazine cover out of storage....

 ....and discovered this pic of my old pup Bandit who is the inspiration for my children's book series.


  1. Sweet post GSL and Bandit looks a treasure

    1. Thank you Naomi. I am most fortunate to have had a boyhood with Dodie and Bandit.

  2. Awwww! I'm so delighted to see this! The back-story is quite amazing, and certainly deserves to be told in your own inimitable style. I'm so glad you shared it in full Technicolor, and glad that you're enjoying such a family treasure in your home every day.

    The memorable people of our pasts---the special grandparents, the neighbors who just took time, the teacher who imparted a love of literature or history---those are forever candles in any dark we can encounter. I love this story, and your Tonstant Weaders will love it, too, I betcha.


  3. HA!! Just thinking about Tonstant Weader kindled a yen to read the whole story again, and first GOOGLE took me to "Today in Literature," in which THIS:


    was the lead for today. Just for you, Sweetpea.

  4. Why thank you dear Rachel!!! I have been manically on the go so just accessed this charming site you reference and discovered that Nobel Laureate Doris Lessing says that Feminists hysterically misread (imagine that!) her book 'The Golden Notebook' and she became a Feminist Icon but I see the tidbit you reference is from yesterday and concerned my idol Dr Johnson. I'll never tire of hearing of Dr Johnson and reading what you have to share my dear Rachel.

  5. I'm in love with Bandit, dear GSL! Such a sweet post, and how great to meet the doggie face behind the books!

    1. Bandit was a noted personality in my hometown. He slept with me every night from the day we brought him home (when I was a boy of 8) from the rescue dog shelter until the day he died. He was fearless and fiercely loyal. He saw me off to school in the morning at the bus stop and was waiting for me when I got home.
      Book 2 is called 'Bus Stop'

  6. So much going on in that wonderful photo, its like a movie-vignette all at once. People have written whole tomes on less!

    Hope you are well, GSL, so nice to catch up!

    1. I've been wondering how you've been Jody. Very interesting post you have up re recent NZ visit & H & G spread.
      Welcome back!