Monday Memories: My Art, My Father

30 Apr

Today, my Monday memories are of my father. He was born in Amarillo,Texas in 1925, and passed away in the Chicago area in 1999. The many years in between were peppered with the good, the bad, and the ugly, but when all was said and done, he was my dad and I loved him.

Dad served in the army during World War II, and often spoke about being stationed in the Philippines. Of course, like most veterans, he never talked about the negative aspects of war. All we knew was where he served, and about his buddies that he served with. He was very proud of his service, but very quiet about those years.

A few years back, I created a watercolor montage of the Philippine Islands, layered with palm trees, then a rendering of my father in his uniform in shades of jungle/army greens. I was always fascinated by his old army stories, photos, and medals, and this was my way of combining these memories and honoring my dad. My only regret was he never got a chance to see it. But, I see it every day. So, I’m sharing this painting and these memories with you.

Quote courtesy of
My father gave me the greatest gift anyone could give another person, he believed in me.
Jim Valvano


8 Responses to “Monday Memories: My Art, My Father”

  1. dietingwaitress April 30, 2013 at 3:45 am #

    Very beautiful way to remember your dad. I’m sure he would be proud.

  2. agriffith1 April 30, 2013 at 1:53 pm #

    And to think my dad regretted training in the airforce for WWII and the war ending before he got the chance to utilize his new expertise. Vets internalize their pain because don’t feel others will understand. But that lack of talking can cause stress. Hence, the ugly. Poor Dad that you will never know how much he suffered. Thanks for the nostagic sweetness of this blog.

    • toniandrukaitis April 30, 2013 at 11:17 pm #

      Thanks for reading. I think all soldiers carry a heavy burden. Too bad they don’t get compensated like first round draft picks in the NFL.

  3. Dan Hennessy May 2, 2013 at 1:24 am #

    Very nice post . Reminds me of my dad , who was on a ship in the Pacific those years .

    • toniandrukaitis May 2, 2013 at 1:29 am #

      You never know. They might have been on the same ship. I wish I had recorded his stories and asked more questions.

  4. Holistic Wayfarer May 19, 2013 at 1:50 am #

    Love it. Both the story and the lovely painting.

  5. Dan Hennessy August 7, 2013 at 4:33 am #

    Nice to see this post again . Thanks.

  6. Toni August 7, 2013 at 1:53 pm #

    Thanks Dan. Another plus is, , my oldest son Joe looks just like Dad did back then, so I get to see those eyes and features every now and then. Take care.

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