Artist in Our Backyard
Friday was one of those days most moms have from time to time. I was throwing myself a pity party over the bad day I'd had. I couldn't even get dinner on the table for the kids, so we headed to our favorite pizza parlor for fried calamari, sodas, and cheese pizzas.
The kids claimed two tables near the back and next to an elderly couple enjoying their dinner. I especially noticed this couple as the man appeared to have a story to tell. He was crusty in appearance, mustached and wrinkled, dressed all in black, wearing a captains cap on his head and huge turquoise rings on his fingers. I wondered what kind of life he had lived. I imagined he was a formerly a sailor or a fisherman. He just struck me as having come from a life at sea.
We had our pizza in the relative peace and quiet. We enjoyed each other's company and took our time gathering our trash and dirty dishes. As we headed out the door, our crusty sailor stopped us to have a word. He wanted to compliment me on my patience with my children and how wonderfully behaved they were. He was particularly impressed having observed they had each made the sign of the cross and said grace before even taking a sip of their sodas. He went on to proclaim his favorite person in the world was John Paul II. He then went on to describe exhibits of his work throughout the DC and Annapolis area. Come to find out, our sailor was no sailor at all, but a celebrated American folk artist. His works of art have been selected to decorate embassies, statehouses, etc., but for Sy Mohr, his crowning achievement was to have his work The Pope of Life Today selected to be exhibited at the John Paul II Cultural Center.
Anyhoo, Mr. Mohr lives in our hometown just a couple of miles from us. He gave us his business card and invited us to visit him in his home. After perusing the internet for some of his paintings, he has me intrigued. I think we'll take him up on his offer, if only to see some of his work up close. I won't send you to his website, due to the malware warnings I received, but you can safely see examples of his work here, here, and here. I'll post again if we have the chance to visit him in the future. I'm sure it should be a fascinating and educational experience.