Gratitude: My Red Bike at the Haskell Street Barn

W16 7 12 GRATITUDE RED BIKE HASKELL 02

*alert: vampire child face, oops*

I had a good childhood, raised by a single mom with an alcoholic dad who skipped,
and three much older brothers who loved me dearly.
I am GRATEFUL because I wasn’t around JD (what they called my dad),
because he caused a lot of grief to my brothers, really, a bit nutty.
I had three amazing older brothers.  Who needed a dad?

debbie beck on her birthday for partyWe lived in one of the last barns on
Haskell Avenue in Encino, California.
This may have made me love barns,
or maybe it was the ranch, or my DNA.
The owners converted it into a giant guest house.
I had many firsts here: first skates, first Barbie,
first Barbie’s wedding dress *swoon*,
first costume birthday party where I went as a
a girl in a bikini and hula skirt wishing she was Cleopatra.
Hollywood had a big effect on me though
I was not interested in acting.
I just wanted to marry James Bond.

debbie beck on her red bike

My first bike was second hand, but you’d never had known it.
My mom (with the help of what brother?) took it apart,
rattle-canned it with bright red paint, and it was the prettiest thing!
I road that bike up and down the long driveway that led to the house with
Cinderella Lou-Lou Bell aka Cindy (never let the kid name the dog) next to me biting
at the tires.  Mom would not let me leave the property in Los Angeles.

W16 7 12 GRATITUDE RED BIKE HASKELL 01

It was the first time I really participated in a garden, though we may have had them before.  Carrots, radishes (meh), lettuce and johnny jump-ups.
We  had a wonderful apricot tree that I wish was outside our door about now.
I climbed it many times, munching apricots straight off the tree.
My mom made jam.

I continued to be a brat to the babysitters I didn’t like.
One of them was George Putman’s (KTTV news anchor) daughter.
She would have makeout parties outside when she sat for me.
I finally threw such a fit that she chased me, banged into a mirror which
came crashing down and cut the tip of her toe off!
Mrs. See-You-At-Ten came to take her daughter to the hospital, someone took me to their house, and I was forced to read bible passages until my mom picked me up.
Mom was furious, at them more than at me, though she wasn’t happy with me.

I had my own first bedroom, an entire loft with great windows and views.
(I would love it today as a studio).

THEN….

W16 7 12 GRATITUDE RED BIKE HASKELL 03

My mom took me to see The Haunting.
The original, terrifying movie.  (See the face in the window?)
Now that seems like a stupid thing for a mom to do but you have to understand that
all summer long and not just for one summer my oldest brother Stephen and I watched horror and sci-fi movies, and yes, even ghost movies.  He explained how they made Godzilla and we ate grilled cheese sandwiches and laughed at horror movies.
SHE THOUGHT THIS WOULD BE FINE.
Then she stayed because she thought there might be an explanation,
so finishing the movie might be best.  It wasn’t.  I never went upstairs again,
and slept on the red sofa or in my mom’s bed until we moved.
I kept seeing that damn face popping out of the stairs to the loft.
I was terrified.  She thought she was the worst mom ever.
I knew there was a mad woman in the attic.
*years later I looked at the metaphor; another post*

world-watercolor-month-square-badge-31-paintings1Thanks to bikerchick for bringing
the memory to mind.

I have another for next year!

Moleskin 8×11 watercolor journal, Pentalic HB
woodless pencil, Platinum Carbon pen,
Lamy Al-Star, De Atramentis Document ink,
and Daniel Smith, Holbein, and QoR watercolors.

W16 7 11 PENTALIC FROGGIE HOOK SQ SM W16 7 11 PENTALIC FROGGIE HOOK SQ SM W16 7 11 PENTALIC FROGGIE HOOK SQ SM W16 7 11 PENTALIC FROGGIE HOOK SQ SM W16 7 11 PENTALIC FROGGIE HOOK SQ SM W16 7 11 PENTALIC FROGGIE HOOK SQ SM

 ©D. Katie Powell.
My images/blog posts may be reposted; please link back  to dkatiepowellart.

What object do you cherish?
Paint it and enter it in Cherished Blogfest July 29, 30, 31!

Cherished Badge16

Tell us the story you tell about one of your cherished objects.  Tell us what your object is, post a painting / drawing / photo, and tell us why you cherish it. 500 words, pictures, posted on the July 29th, 30th or 31st.  Help us spread the word: save (right-click, save image) the badge, right, and place it on your sidebar.  Tell your friends on social media.  Hashtag: #cherishedblogfest.
When the Cherished Blogfest goes live on the 29th, enter your blog post entry into the Linky List.

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About dkatiepowellart

hollywood baby turned beach gurl turned steel&glass city gurl turned cowgurl turned herb gurl turned green city gurl. . . artist writer photographer. . . cat lover but misses our big dogs, gone to heaven. . . buddhist and interested in the study of spiritual traditions. . . foodie, organic, lover of all things mik, partner in conservation business mpfconservation, consummate blogger, making a dream happen, insomniac who is either reading buddhist teachings or not-so-bloody mysteries or autobio journal thangs early in the morning when i can't sleep
This entry was posted in art journal, challenge, journal, memory, pen & ink, portrait, series, virtual sketching, watercolor and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

18 Responses to Gratitude: My Red Bike at the Haskell Street Barn

  1. bikerchick57 says:

    Katie, I love this more than I can say. Those are such endearing memories and I absolutely love the red bike. This post was totally worth waiting for!

    Like

  2. bikerchick57 says:

    Reblogged this on Mary J Melange and commented:
    D. Katie Powell is not only fabulous with the use of her art supplies, she is great at recounting her wonderful childhood memories…especially that of a bright red bike. Please go to her website to “like” and post comments.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. joey says:

    Wonderful! 🙂

    Like

  4. joannesisco says:

    Visiting from Mary J. Love your memories … especially the Bad Mommy story. I think all mothers have them and your’s just made me feel normal. I really appreciate that ❤

    Like

  5. Norm 2.0 says:

    I loved this! Thanks for taking me on a stroll down your memory lane 😃

    Like

  6. Dan Antion says:

    Sorry I’m late reading this. This was such a great story. You look invincible on that bike. I love the paintings, you have such a wonderful mix of talent and you are very kind to share it with us, Kate.

    Like

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