December 15, 2015

Mothers And Fathers

Mothers And Fathers
By John R. Greenwood

Mother's Comfort 

Mothers comfort the bumps and bruises.
They hug away pain and fear.
Mothers know how to read tears.
They decipher words no one else can hear.
Mothers warm us like blankets and wrap us in love.
Mothers make it all better. 

Father's Lift

Fathers lift us up.

They fill us with encouragement and wonder.
Fathers teach us to reach for the stars. 
They make us laugh with funny faces and body noises.
Fathers play rough.
They bend and never break.

Thank you to my son, grandson, daughter-in-law (first photo) and her sister (second photo bottom right) for the photos above. 

I have two sons with sons. They are good fathers who married good mothers.
My wife and I are grateful for the love they all share with their children. 

November 03, 2015

Rooftop Victory

Rooftop Victory
By John R. Greenwood

I recently read one of Jon Katz's Bedlam Farm posts about the trials and tribulations of a common home repair. He had a tight storm window and wanted to fix it on his own. It was a post about weighing dollars against sense, learning versus surrendering . In the end it was the desire for independence that prevailed. Jon's story inspired me to send him one about a recent home repair of my own. These are stories about home improvement and self improvement. Not just learning how-to's but also learning about weighing capabilities against common sense. I find myself in a constant tug of war between wanting to do something on my own or being smart enough to acknowledge my limitations and ask for help. Sometimes the latter proves to be the more courageous choice. 

But not today...

Here is the letter I wrote Jon. As an author, teacher, and mentor his three word response to my letter was; "Share the story."

So, here it is:

Jon, I just read your post about planing the storm window on Maria’s Studio. It made me smile and at the same time I wanted to help. Knowing that’s not something you readily embrace I thought I’d share a quick story about something similar that happened to me. We had a new gas furnace installed around the time you and I first met a few years ago. The new furnace is vented with plastic pipe that runs out of the cellar and through the side of the house. This eliminated a need for the old chimney. Because the chimney extends up through the center of the house it isn't something easily removed. We simply left it the way it was. The problem is now we have this large opening running up through the center of the house. It was an open invitation to bats, squirrel’s, birds or anything else looking for a nice quiet place to set up camp. My plan was to cap it off with a cement cover. That was several years ago.

I’ve spent the majority of this summer working on my home and not much else. Fall was already fading. I was determined to get that chimney capped if it was the last thing I did in 2015. More than once I picked up the phone to call a contractor, only to hang up before anyone answered. I was a grown man with big shoulders and enough home repair experience to do this myself. My only fear was climbing on the roof. My agility and flexibility has left the building along with some testosterone. But, I’ve been trying to get back into exercise mode and my courage was abnormally high this past Monday. I left work early and set off on a mission. I drove to Home Depot and bought a $3.00 16”x16” cement paver and a tube of masonry adhesive and headed home. I changed my clothes and got the ladder. I collected a hammer, caulking gun, the paver, and my courage and headed to the rooftop. 

The first thing I had to do was hammer the center flue out and level off the top of the chimney. My adrenaline was pumping as I wailed on that cement like John Henry burying a railroad spike. It took a while but I finally had a nice smooth surface to set the cap on. I filled the caulking gun with the tube of adhesive and emptied it around the top of the chimney. The cement cap covered the opening like a special order. I let out a sign of relief and looked down below for someone to share my victory with. 

Nope, I was on my own.

Now I had to get back to that ladder without falling off the roof. A few years ago I would have walked down the roof like a Wallenda and climbed down. That ship had sailed. This time I was shaking and skittish. I backed down the roof like a toddler backing down a set of stairs. I got to the ladder tossed my tools to the ground and made my decent. When I finally stepped off the bottom rung I gave a private little fist pump and let out a hearty, “Yes!”

Minutes later I was on the back steps sipping a cold Miller Lite and enjoying the falling leaves. It was then that I realized just how great life is. It simply boils down to how you savor it. On this warm October day I sipped a little rooftop victory. I didn't break any windows, tools or body parts.

Cost of a contractor to do the same job = $200+???
Cost of a cement cap and tube of adhesive = $10
Savings by risking life and multiple limbs = $190? 
Being able to check one more thing off an endless list = "Priceless"

Yours truly,

November 01, 2015

A Halloween Text Message

A Halloween Text Message
By John R. Greenwood

The text message came from an old customer/friend of mine. It was none other than the humor packed, and perpetually smiling Ed Sakos. Ed was the owner of Saratoga's famous Mr. Ed’s Hot Dogs, a restaurant that fed thousands of hungry bar-goers and Broadway-walkers throughout the 1980’s. Ed was not only a good customer of mine when I was the proprietor of Price’s Dairy in those same years but he became a good friend. His love of antiques and dirty jokes made my milk deliveries and our daily visits something I miss to this day. Visiting Mr. Ed’s was an experience. The restaurant was narrow, deep and chock full of characters from all walks of life. Lawyers, business owners, policemen, drifters, and alcohol-soaked Skidmore students packed the place from 11am to 3am daily. It was a sad day when Ed escaped the high rent of Broadway and headed out Route #29 to the outskirts of the city and opened Mr. Ed’s Ice Cream Station. The city’s loss was the country’s gain.

Ed and I recently reunited via Facebook. We hadn’t seen each other in years so it was nice to be able to touch base on occasion even if it was electronically. It was 8am Saturday morning when I heard my cell phone buzzing. I was in the middle of something so I didn’t check it right away. It was 9:30 before I actually read the message. It was from Ed. It said, “FYI, there is a Price's Dairy milk box at an estate sale at 23 Elizabeth Lane off Lake Ave.”

I read it, then realized it had been an hour and a half since he sent his message. Damn! That thing will be gone for sure. People descend on estate sales like vultures. There’s no way that piece of Saratoga history will still be there. I showed my wife the message. She said, “GO!” I threw on my shoes, grabbed my keys and literally ran to my truck. I hit Northern Pines Rd like a volunteer fireman on a late night “fully involved” fire call. Vic Price must have been looking down on me today because every light turned green on my approach. I made the four mile drive in minutes. Elizabeth Lane was quiet. I didn’t see any activity at all. Not until I got toward the end of the street did I find a home with a “23” on it and a roll-off dumpster in the driveway. There were only a couple cars parked out front. Either the house was clean as a whistle or I was the luckiest man in town today. 

I headed across the lawn and still wasn’t sure if there was a sale or not. As I approached the house I saw a sign taped on the door leading into the garage. It said, “Come In”. There I found a man sitting behind a folding table and a woman standing there talking to him. I said hello and without hesitation asked if there was a Price’s Dairy milk box for sale. They both looked at each other unsure exactly what it was I was looking for. I quickly explained I’d gotten a text message from a friend who’d been there earlier. It took a second until it registered just what it was I was looking for. The women said,”Oh, the metal box! Yes, I know what you mean. I think it's in the cellar.” The man said he didn’t remember it going out the door so there was a good chance it was still down there. When I explained that I had purchased the business from Vic Price in 1979 and operated it for ten years they understood why I was so excited about the possibility of finding a remnant of my past. As I headed toward the cellar they both smiled and wished me, “Good luck.” 

The cellar stairs were narrow and made a sharp right at the bottom. I turned the corner and there in the dark shadows of #23 Elizabeth Lane was the end of the rainbow and my aluminum Price’s Dairy milk box. It was a lottery winning feeling times a bunch. I was grinning like a kid with a new bike. This time Mr. Ed had me smiling at something more than a man-walks-into-a-bar-joke. 

I wanted to yell out loud but instead I picked up the box and hugged it like a baby. When I got back upstairs to the garage the man and women were thrilled that I’d found my Holy Grail. The story’s ending got even better when I went to pay the $10 sticker price and was informed that everything was half price today! I did a internal fist pump. I couldn’t wait to send Mr. Ed a return text with a photo of my purchase attached.

I want to thank Ed Sakos for thinking about me today. When I asked why he didn’t buy the milk box when he’d been there earlier he replied that he figured I had a bunch of them. Even though I still had a handful of home deliveries when I bought the business in 1979 they were too expensive to maintain. When I went out of business in 1989 I didn’t have any boxes or home delivery customers left. Although I’m sad the era of home delivery has slowed to a trickle I am glad I was able to experience a taste of it. Now I can dust off my Price’s Dairy milk bottle and put it in the milk box where it belongs.
This was turning out to be a very “Happy Halloween.” 

Bonus! With our fourth grandson due in December this child's desk for $10 was the cherry on the top of my day. :)

*I would like to thank Ed Sakos for his text and friendship. I would also like to thank the folks at 23 Elizabeth Lane. In my haste I did not write your names down and in my excitement I could not recall them when I got home. I left you my card so if by chance you read this piece please send me your names so I can personally thank you for your hospitality and for being a part of my treasure hunt.

October 19, 2015

Moving Moment

Moving Moment
By John R. Greenwood

"The American Dream is alive and well"

Jeff, Jim, Kevin (my son), and Neil
When you you've been married for four decades, breathing for six, and you're the parent of two adult sons, you've done more than your share of moving. I swore at the end of a lot of those moves that it would be my last. I think I'll stop making promises I can't keep. On the other hand, moving furniture is better than everyones last move. In that move we're accompanied on two sides by six of our closest friends.

I spent Saturday helping my son's family move into their new home. On the glass half full side, it was across town not across country. Even better; we had one large 27' box truck, three pickup trucks and one utility trailer. My son also had two long time friends and one long time friend/brother-in-law; all with their own families and afternoon plans. Let's just say this move had no chance of being a drawn out affair. All five of us were raring to go and four of them had young backs.

Let's get moving.

The best thing about a short move with lots of equipment is you don't have to fuss too much. Pack it smart but don't over do it. We were able to do just that. When your son's friends have homes and families of their own, you know they've been through the process enough times to know the drill.

Grab and go.


Saturday came on the anniversary of my mother's passing in 2004. I kept thinking October 17th had a deeper significance than just the move. When I realized why, it caused me to stop and reflect on what life is all about. I began to think back to my grandparents and their immigration to the United States and what it must have been like for them to move into their first home. The freedom and joy of having their own farm to raise six children on must have been exhilarating. They'd achieved the American Dream and look what followed. My parents and all of my mother's five siblings enjoyed the same dream. My sister, her sons, and I all raised families of our own, and now they were enjoying the culmination of their hard work and had homes of their own. It made me feel good about the last sixty years and everything that I'd been fortunate enough to experience. It made me angry to think about people who have "theirs" and want to build a wall to deny others the same joy. There is no perfect answer, no perfect fix. Who am I to say it's my right not yours?

How fortunate I've been. How fortunate we've all been. I do not take it for granted. 

The only walls we should be building are living room walls to hang our family memories on. 

Mr. Trump I don't want you in my neighborhood. 

Maybe you should move.


Somewhere hot. 

October 14, 2015

Roadside Gold

Roadside Gold 
By John R. Greenwood

It was October and I was on my way to work. The sky had a blue-grey tinge and the early morning sun illuminated Mother Nature's tree tops with a rusty glow so glorious I wanted to  send her a blank check. The autumn air was thick with moisture and a mile-wide rainbow. I pulled my car to the gravel shoulder, slammed it in park, grabbed my phone, and ran into the field to capture the moment. My pants were soaked to the shins and my shoes were caked with mud; it was heaven. 

Fall passes so briskly I felt lucky to have grabbed a handful all in one photo. Life's simple pleasures have a habit of showing up when you least expect them. You have to be prepared to recognize them when they manifest themselves. 


September 11, 2015

Summer Reunion

Summer Reunion
By John R. Greenwood

I thought about calling this piece, "The Summer That Wasn't." I didn't throw out a fishing line or paddle a canoe. I didn't hike around a lake or even the block. The closest I came to a camping trip was the Coleman pop-up my son parked in the yard while he was moving. I didn't spend a nickel at SPAC or a dime at the county fair. You hope your summer is a thrill ride, instead it felt like a nap. 

The impatiens, new backdoor (behind the screen door) and freshly painted steps

My wife and I spent most of our free time working around the house. We started the summer by  repainting the shutters and window frames. I tackled one of those 20 year old, "Some Day" projects by adding rain gutters to the back of the house. We installed sections of fresh white fencing in the backyard and repainted the "cow". The impatiens and geraniums never looked better and the early summer rains kept the lawnmower busy. I replaced the back door. The new one works so well I don't have to use my knee to open it. I tamed all the hedges and shrubs with heavy duty haircuts that were long overdue. 

I feel I accomplished something this summer without writing or tiring out my camera. And even though that made me a little grumpy and unsettled, I ended the summer feeling good about it. 

"The Cow" and a few sections of new fence
The best thing about this summer happened while I was working. That "Summer Reunion" in the title came about unexpectedly. It happened a few miles north of Lowville, New York on the Tug Hill Plateau. I was headed to Watertown on business. I would be spending a couple of days on the road with my delivery drivers. I left my office around noon for the 3.5 hour drive up there. I always savor the miles between Lowville and Copenhagen. It's beautiful farm country and it's also where I first met an old Chevy dump truck back in 2009. The blue rusty dump truck that caught my attention when I first saw it parked in a field alongside the road. It looked like it had been left for dead. The dump box was piled high with dirt. The truck had been sitting there for so long, tree-like weeds had sprouted making it look like a gigantic Chia Pet. It was "truck-love" at first sight." After passing by it that day back in 2009 I decided to stop and take a picture. It would become one of my favorites. It was also the photo I put on a business card and identified this blog with. 

The Geraniums 

The attraction for me was two-fold; one was the visual draw. The mix of color, rust, and plant material was pleasing to me. The other was a themed based. I'm no kid. I'm approaching an age where people ask me when I'm going to retire more than they ask me for the time. Let's just say I'm feeling nudged. That nudging was fairly new to me when I first saw that old Chevy left for dead at the edge of a corn field. Call it assimilation. I identified with an old broken down truck who'd spent years earning a living with his back. When it became tired and couldn't finish that last load they just simply pulled the keys and left him sitting there in the hot sun. After taking that picture that day back in 2009, I gave the old guy a pat on the hood and headed home. 

On my next trip the following spring the truck had disappeared. It was nowhere to be found. I'd slow to a dangerous crawl on busy Route #12 looking in fields and along stone walls for my old friend. I had this horrible feeling of loss and emptiness. My mind wandered. I imagined the owner watching me from across the field the day I took the picture and maybe thinking I was a member of the Zoning Board preparing to file a complaint. My chest ached. Had my attraction to a rusty dump truck led to its demise. I spent the next several years feeling like I ratted on a friend. All I had left was photo and the memory. The best I could do was to honor the Chevy's memory with this poem I wrote back then. 

The original tribute poem I wrote in 2009
It's now the summer of 2015 and I'm headed back to Watertown. I got an early start so I had the opportunity to take a closer look for my old friend. Something kept telling me they'd towed him out behind an old barn or into the woods somewhere. As I approached the spot where he'd once stood I noticed the porch of a nearby farmhouse full of people enjoying the afternoon. Without hesitation or fear of being shot I whipped into the driveway grabbed a business card with the trucks photograph and walked across the lawn. Two large German Shepherds scurried to their feet. I paused slightly but my fear was smaller than my need to know what happened. In between heartbeats I heard the words, "Don't worry, they don't bite, but they might lick you to death." How good it felt to hear those words. I introduced myself and tried to explain my abrupt visit without triggering a 911 call to the sheriff. There were half a dozen people on the porch and they all turned their chairs and focused on me.

I reached in my pocket and pulled out the business card. 

I handed it to the man closest to the porch steps.

"Do you recognize this truck?" 

It barely took a second for him to say, "Sure, it belongs to a farm down the road. It's probably there right now."   

He passed the card down the length of the porch while I tried not to squeal and trigger that 911 call. 

That simple discovery created enough joy in my heart to propel me through another year, but I still had questions. 

"Can you tell me why the truck was left next to the road in the first place?" 


It just so happened that the people I was talking with had been demolishing an old barn on their property and the neighboring farm was using the dump truck to help. They were clearing the lot where the old barn sat and were in the process of transporting fill when the truck got a flat tire and had to be left there. Truck tires and repairs are expensive and when it comes to the family farms of today priorities change on a daily if not hourly basis. The truck was left there for no other reason than lack of options at the time. The Chevy finally made it back to the top of the list and was brought back home to the farm down the road where it belonged. The next sentence floored me. 

"They're still using it." 

"What? Are you serous? 

The man was as serious as a heart attack. He said the farm also sells firewood and had been delivering it with the truck all last winter. Considering how brutal the cold had been, I'm sure that truck was busy. 

"Are they as friendly at that farm as you folks have been?" I asked with a smile. 

"Probably friendlier" one man said with a bigger smile. 

We talked for a few more minutes as I explained little about my blog and the role that old truck played in my life over the last several years. Everyone on the porch seemed happy they'd helped solve a mystery. Their smiles were undoubtedly genuine as I waved goodby and thanked them once again for their hospitality. 

Regretfully, in my haste I forgot Reporter Rule #1: Get the dogs name. As a Jimmy Olsen wanna-be I need to be more thorough in writing down names, dates, and times. I plan to return with a proper thank you someday and I'll make sure I get the names of those wonderful folks on the porch whose kindness and trust made an old man very happy. The closest I got to acknowledging them was the name O'Brien carved in a wooden sign nailed on a tree out front. 

I backed out on to Route #12 and headed toward the farm down the road hoping to meet an old friend. I eased into the dirt driveway next to the farmhouse. There were outbuildings of all shapes and sizes. There was an equal assortment of heavy equipment scattered amongst them. My anticipation swelled. I scanned the property like a hunter on opening day of deer season.  

I should probably be a little careful poking around on private property 150 miles from home. I pulled up next to a garage that looked like it was being used to repair equipment. The side door was open. I entered slowly and heard someone under the hood of a tractor. I called out and a young man's head popped up. He looked to be in his late teens or very early twenties. He came right over and I quickly introduced myself. I was afraid when I told him my story he might call for help. The stars aligned and he never batted an eye. He smiled and said, "The trucks right over there next to the hay barn, take all the pictures you want. He turned and went right back to work on his tractor. It was like this stuff happened every day. I thanked him and walked around the corner of the building. 

And then...

Spotting an old friend 

"The Chevy" looking happy and ready to go to work 
I saw my blue rusty friend parked there with his back to me. He couldn't see me approaching but I was sure he'd hear my pounding heart and turn around. His dump body was empty this time. He looked happy and clean. I looked him over like a mother with a newborn. He had all his tires and they seemed full and ready to roll. There were no broken lights, cracked windows, or missing doors. I grabbed my camera and turned on the image stabilization. I was so happy to find my old friend I couldn't stop shaking. 

I looked down.

There on his bumper was something shiny.

What a truck looks like when it's smiling

I'll be darned if it wasn't a brand new New York State license plate. It was newer than the one on my car. I swelled with pride and relief. 

The old friend I'd thought had been scrapped or buried in the woods had been brought back to life and was making his own living again. He was a proud contributor to the vitality of that farm and its owners. I felt so good I couldn't stop smiling. Suddenly I didn't feel old and insignificant anymore. My chest swelled up a little and my spirit rose with a sense of renewal. If that old Chevy still had gas in the tank and some miles left on the odometer maybe I did too. I patted my old friend on the hood for old time sake and headed back to the car. I looked around for someone to share my joy with. There wasn't a soul in sight, just me and an old Chevy dump truck-- both smiling--both relieved. 

We winked at each other as I drove away. 

It was a great summer after all. 

One of the best...

A happy ending...

August 15, 2015

Feeling Welcome

Feeling Welcome
By John R. Greenwood


There are certain people and places that simply make you feel welcome. When you head off for a visit you feel a change a mile before you hit the driveway. There’s a feeling in the air. The birds sing louder. The trees in the front yard stand taller and greener than those on the property next door. The people who live at these special places smile when you say hello, and wave good bye in a way that makes you want to turn around and go back for one more friendly story. I had the pleasure of visiting one of those life-treats the other day at work. I am fortunate enough to have a job that brings me to several family dairy farms. One of them is called the “Bejosh Farm”. It’s owned and operated by Ed and Carol Gulley. My friend and writing mentor Jon Katz describes them quite eloquently in this Bedlam Farm post. Jon was warmed by their inviting nature in the same way I’ve been. It’s the simplicity in their outlook that makes them special in todays “bogus” world. I couldn’t possibly improve on Jon’s description so I chose instead to post a view photos taken at their farm showing the love they share with the land and life in general. It’s not complicated for them.

Embrace where you are and who you are, happiness in your life is up to you—not someone else. 

Ed and Carol I want to thank you for hanging on to what we all have right under our noses but fail to recognize, life is what you make of it. 

Thanks for the reboot. 

I needed it. 

August 09, 2015

Boat Fishing

Boat Fishing
By John R. Greenwood

As the sun packs its bags for another trip around the world a man waits for that faint nimble to end the day on a high note. He gazes skyward as a the catch of a lifetime passes by. Unaware of the record 5 person catch about to tug at the end of his line his dream of a fish story to tell is moments away from reality. Hold tight fisher-man your reel is soon to sing like a snapped cable and a falling piano. 

Yee haw!

July 28, 2015

The Smile Fixer

Dr. Hollis 

I felt a strong need to write this note of thanks to you and your staff. I recently found myself sitting at my laptop holding my front tooth in the palm of my hand. A home plumbing repair and a hissy fit gone bad were the cause of its original demise in the 90's. My then-favorite-dentist, Dr. Bauman came to my rescue and sculptured a "temp" that lasted over 20 years. Jump ahead to 2015 and I again look like I just finished a Blackhawks-Bruin's Game 7.  

I look at the tooth in my hand and say to myself, "gosh darn it" or something to that effect. What am I going to do now? 

Who you gonna call?

Dr. Hollis, that's who.

That's what he does. At least that's what his webpage says. 

Boy, does he. 

I knew the minute you handed me a mirror and showed me the result of the two hour rescue you and Brea performed on my smile that I would be writing this letter. It was a given. 

It was two hours of squirming and head nodding. 

Discomfort yes. 


Not a hint. 

Amazement at the result? 

Damn straight! 

When you finished and flashed that Men's Warehouse, "You're going to like the way you look," smirk I was skeptical. When I saw your smile-repair in that mirror I knew you were both in the right profession and I'm grateful. 

Granted, I don't possess a set of piano keys but they're mine. I've been in the milk business for 30 years; I get up at 4am every morning; I've sipped a lot of coffee. 

What pleases the eye more, a worn and weathered hay barn or a shiny new galvanized one? 

The point of this letter is simple. 

It's a thank-you/confirmation letter. 

You and your entire staff picked the right jobs. 

I'm proof of it.

I hope your smiles reading this are as genuine as mine was writing it. 


"Smiling" John Greenwood

July 21, 2015

Fighting Back

Fighting Back
By John R. Greenwood

dry tires and rusty bolts

frayed wires 
squeaky joints
get away from me

spit and sputter
swear and mutter
go to hell

faded paint
lights so faint
turn the key
and you’ll see

all the life 

still left in me

July 18, 2015

I Found The Owner Of Page 253

I Found The Owner Of Page 253 
By John R. Greenwood

The title of this post is deceiving. I did not actually find the owner of the painting on page #253 in Jack Lewis’s book “The Hudson River,” they found me. It’s one more great story placed at my feet by the magic of this book. 

For readers of this blog who’ve been following my Jack Lewis journey over the last few years you know how excited I get when I collect another piece to the Jack Lewis puzzle. Trust that my lack of writing on the subject is not indicative of my interest in the subject. Work and personal responsibility have kept my posts and investigations at a minimum.

Until this week.

I recently posted some photographs of our town’s community celebration called Parkfest. It is a one day event full of activities for town residents. It has a carnival flair and it provided some great photo opportunities. When I got home the day after posting the photographs there was a comment unrelated to the post at the bottom. The person leaving the comment stated they had a Jack Lewis painting and that they were having trouble contacting me through the email address I use for the blog. 

Of course I panicked knowing that someone had Jack Lewis “stuff” and they couldn’t get to me to share it. I was on the phone to tech support within seconds. The online tech was the most pleasant customer service representative ever and after telling him my story, (which he genuinely seemed to enjoy) and after exercising extreme patience with me, he solved my problem and then some. Now I had to try and contact the person who left the comment. 

It wasn’t easy.

Many people who comment on blogs do not have a blog of their own. The comment may show a profile page but that doesn’t always lead to an email address, which is what happened here. So, now I had to get my Google engine started. Before you know it I’m on a FB page of the person I think is the wife of the man who left the comment. I go to her Facebook page and leave: a message, my repaired email address, say a simple prayer, cross my missing finger and wait. 

Low and behold.

I get an an answer from another “nicest person in the world.”

This Jack Lewis thing has them falling from the sky. Jack if you’re up there listening I want you to know that just mentioning your name has produced the nicest people this world has to offer; that includes your daughters. Having made phone contact with them has shown me why this entire journey has been blessed with goodwill and cooperation. It’s like a cloud filled with Jack’s spirit is drifting along side me during this discovery of his work. 

Back to my newest “nicest person in the world.” 

I asked her if I could share her story. She said certainly, but would I leave out her last name. 

Here’s Barbara’s, “Jack Lewis” story:

*Barbara’s Email:
“My name is Barbara. I came across your blog about Delaware artist, Jack Lewis. I have an original painting by him, entitled, “MacDougal Alley” (Greenwich Village, New York City) and I also purchased his book, “The Hudson River…Its  a signed copy. So pleased when I realized my painting was on page #253 of the book. I’ve had both for about 10 years and every once in awhile I search the internet for any new information I can find about him. That’s how I found your blog. I knew he had passed a few years ago in York Maine. I loved reading all the information about Jack Lewis on your Blog… Thank you…. Love my painting! 

John (Me) - I responded immediately and expressed my unstoppable desire to know the story of Barbara’s discovery. 

Barbara -
“You are not going to believe where I purchased “MacDougal Alley” ….. A garage sale!! 
I knew nothing about Jack Lewis at the moment I spotted it, my heart started pounding, because I knew it was a GOOD one! I love art and have bought many nice pieces at various garage sales over the years. 

I paid $6.00!! 

Yes, $6.00. Am I lucky or what??? 

When I brought the painting home, I started researching. I found out as much information as I could. That’s when I found his Hudson River book. I had an appraiser come in and look at the painting.”

Barbara now has the painting insured for many more zero’s than $6.00 has. 

I did edit some of our conversation for privacy and respectful reasons. Barbara was gracious and kind by sharing her story. I did not want to place her trust in me at risk. Don’t forget we have never met and only had these brief conversations within a few day period. 

I included the black and white image from Jack’s book along with the accompanying page that mirrors Jack’s interpretation of what he was painting that day. The colored image is a simple photograph of Barbara’s painting in a frame. She apologized for the reflection from the glass. 

With or without the reflection seeing the second original painting to come from this book will definitely highlight the summer of 2015 and it’s only mid July. 

Thank you Barbara, Jack, and “The Hudson River.” 

Time to turn another page…