The following images and text appeared in my daughter’s Tyler School of Art, Bachelor of Fine Art Thesis Exhibition circa 2005. It’s a tribute to Dorthy and Bonnie Liebegott, may they rest in piece.
My Dad told me that the women on my Mother’s side of the family are crazy and that I will be like them one day too.
But I don’t think that when I am older I will worry constantly like my Mom or send my family gifts with notes written in broken English like Fanny did.
And I don’t think that I will sit in one of the blue chairs at the cottage and drink a coffee cup full of Budweiser before bedtime like Gram used to do either…
I called my grandmother Fanny and my great grandmother Gram.
When I was two or three years old, I overheard my parents yelling for my grandmother, whose name is Bonnie… I thought they were saying “Fanny”. The name somehow stuck because everyone thought it was funny.
The camouflage curtains at the cottage used to give me nightmares as a kid because I imagined seeing monsters in the pattern.
Apparently Gram spent a lot of time in her sewing room making the curtains, which is very unfortunate because they have haunted at least two generations of children since she made them…
I guess that’s why we keep the cottage the way she had it before she passed.
My dad calls it “The Land Before Time”.
Fanny insisted on driving a classic Ford Wagoneer instead of her brand new Jeep.
She also had a cell phone that she is afraid of “wracking up” the bill on.
In fact, she didn’t even use the cell phone one Christmas when she got majorly lost on her way home from our house. She drove two hours in the wrong direction on the turnpike before getting off at the Valley Forge exit to use a pay phone.
I absolutely despise the plastic owl that sits on the porch steps at the cottage.
It is a movement-triggered lawn novelty that makes this wailing hooting death noise at you if you walk in front of it.
“It’s my watch owl”. She told us once. “Warns me if anyone is coming.”
At the end of the summer my parents used to take trips to the cottage to help Fanny rake leaves.
This always involved lugging those crappy old baby pools out of the shed and dragging them around the lawn all day.
Fanny used to say; “Boy…He must be whipped”instead of; “He’s tired”.
It was really annoying.
So was Fanny’s friend Walter.
One time Walter tried to convince us that the football player on his match book was his son.
We miss you Grammy and Fanny!