My family is busy cleaning up the old homestead. Part of me wishes to be there digging through the memories. There is one item that does mean a great deal to me. That item is pictured here. The photo was taken by my sister.
I drew this picture of a Spitfire after a conversation with family and friends about our ancestry. The topic almost invariably leads to the question, “Is there anyone famous in your family tree?” Well not directly. Rembrandt Van Rijn is one of the Netherlands most famous master painters and we are related to the Van Rijn family and coincidentally my father's family comes from the same place as the master himself. If I understand correctly he has no direct descendents so indirect is the best you're going to get. That of course led to the question whether any artistic talent had filtered down to anyone in the family. My dad said, “no,” and that stung a bit. I've always had some ability and at one time enjoyed drawing every chance I got.
At the time, I knew that if I said I was going to hide in my room to draw something, I would have been told not to waste time. I didn't tell anyone. I just went up and went to work. I found the picture in one of my dad's World War II history books and quietly started drawing. I had a framed Sunday school diploma on the wall and I wanted to take out the certificate and replace it with the picture. I didn't know how to make the switch but when I brought both downstairs to the living room and showed my parents that bit of work was done for me.
For most of the past thirty-six years that picture has hung in my old bedroom in my parents house. Apparently it was at some point transferred to the kitchen. It has suffered some water damage but from this picture it is still in remarkably good condition. It was drawn with a regular pencil and was not protected with any kind of fixative. Sunlight would've faded it badly but evidently it has been at least kept out of direct sunlight.
I'm looking forward to having it hanging on my own wall sometime soon. We'll see what can be done to keep it from deteriorating any worse than it already has.