A Gift to my Grandfather
This portrait painting was a gift to my paternal grandfather, who went by Papaw.
Papaw grew up on a farm in rural southern Ohio during the Great Depression. His family didn’t have running water or electricity until he was an adult! The first time he left his county was at 18 years old when he joined the Navy and traveled all over the world. He fulfilled 2 terms of service in the Navy, then briefly worked for the railroad (where my own father retired from), and then made his career working for the Air Force, where he attained numerous awards for his accomplishments. Since the early 1950’s, Mamaw (my grandmother) and Papaw have lived in the same house in Pickerington, Ohio, now a suburb of Columbus. For a long while, it was a rural area, until the suburbs grew out to Pickerington.
While on a Midwest road trip in August 2011 to visit family in Indiana, we stopped by Ohio on the way back to see Mamaw and Papaw. We snapped this photo of Papaw and I by his garden out back. I was picking cucumbers and tomatoes to bring back to Virginia. I thought it was a great picture of us, so it’s the one I chose to paint.
His name was also Dave White (he was Dave White Sr., while I am Dave White III). I’d never thought about it much, but out of all of his grandchildren and even great-grandchildren, I’m the only one with the same name as him!
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