Tuesday, April 17, 2007

I said leave me alone

I'm singing all night long

it's a family tradition

-- Hank Williams, Jr.

Perhaps not the best choice of songs to use when discussing my children, but I left out the inappropriate lyrics and besides; the Short People can't read yet. There are days I have lyric block and today that Hank line just kept coming back. Nothing else would do.

Here is one of our family traditions. The first photo is me. When my sister Clare was little my parents had her portrait done wearing the same dress and sitting in an inverse pose so when the portaits are hung side by side we face each other. Sorry Clarie, I don't have a photo of you to post since Mom and Dad have yours (although, come to think of it, you hate your hair in that portrait so you are probably glad I didn't share it with the world). My parents saved the dress, and when the Short People were born we decided to replicate the portraits.

Not as easy as it sounds.

It turns out that this style of portraiture (taking a photograph, blowing it up onto canvas and then painting over top of the photo in oils) is a lost art. After much research we located a man in Florida who still does this work. We shipped India's portrait to him, along with mine for comparison, and here is the finished product. I'm a bit biased, but I think it is beautiful. We jsut have to figure out where to hang it and begin saving up to have Kate's done in the fall before she outgrows the dress!

Now is a great time for all you blog stalkers to leave a comment. What's your favorite family tradition?


Auntie said...

I rather enjoy the ATF Thanksgiving tradition!! Nothing like drinking beer, shooting guns, smoking cigars, dancing in the kitchen, playing DJ, saying what we are most thankful for (Amy) & stuffing ourselves silly!

Auntie said...

Yes, my hair is terrible in that picture and for most of my life as a child (think afro laser picture).
What was going on with that??? Why didn't you help me? You are older, you were supposed to look out for me! HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

The Turmanators said...

Well, if you think about MY hair during that particular span of time you'll recongize that I was not in any shape to reach out to others. Think Farrah Fawcett and Dorothy Hamill peppered with the occasional Charles Manson groupie look. Remember; you can only be a friend to others if you love yourself first.

The Turmanators said...

By the way, you forgot the traditional playing of Arlo Guthrie's "Alice's Restaurant" at the ATF Thanksgiving. Also the Cheech and Chong Stanta song at Christmas. My God, we sound like a truly sick family...poor Short People.

TheArthurs said...

Well, we Kempenichs of Minnesota have many traditions - most involving some combination of beer and polka dancing - but since you've written about your family's photos, I'll share a photography related one...
As each of my eight siblings and I graduated from high school, my mom insisted on having a picture of all of us surrounding the lucky graduate adorned in cap and gown (and believe me when I say that the journey through clothing and hair styles represented in those photos is truly frightening). The day before my graduation (I'm the youngest), my mom pulled out a box filled with the graduation gowns of my seven older siblings (she's a pack rat, and this time it paid off) and pressed each and every one. At my open house - where there was beer and polka dancing, we all got in line, youngest to oldest, and paraded out of the house humming "Pomp and Circumstance" to surprise the teacher and family friend who had taught all eight of us and was the school's graduation ceremony coordinator. There, in our rainbow-hued assortment of cheap, synthetic gowns, we surrounded him and had our picture taken. Aside from the enormous red plastic frames on my glasses (think Sally Jesse Raphael), I think that picture is my favorite.
Not nearly as classy as your family portraits, but a tradition nonetheless.
(And I'm not at all biased. India's portrait is gorgous.)

Deana said...

I love that song! One of my faves...brings out the redneck in me though!

I love those are both very very cute! There is actually a lady doing this on Main Street Mount Airy now but I don't know all the details. But her work looked good. That guys is super good!