“Mom, why is there a statue of a naked lady in our backyard?”
This is a question that I thankfully never had to answer, but my poor mother did – just this morning.
My mother has influenced my life in countless ways. Her love of birds has been passed down to each of her children. While I was growing up, there was always a feeder in our backyard, and we learned to identify the local birds at a young age. We also had a bird bath featured prominently off our back porch. When I was nine I took this picture of my parents, grandparents, and my little sister. The statue in the bird bath is featured in the foreground. I can picture my mom, so wanting to encourage me in my new hobby, and so wanting to pose for the picture anywhere else. (Hey, how about we stand in front of those garbage cans? The light is great there!)
I have several scenarios in my head as to why there was a nude woman in the middle of our bird bath. I debated whether or not to ask my parents about it. (I didn’t want to bring up any old arguments.) Finally I couldn’t stand all the questions circling in my mind so I made the call.
I didn’t want to put them on the spot, but inquiring minds want to know. First I asked Mom. She had no recollection of it, but got a good laugh out of the question. Dad also denied any memory of it. Hum, how could these people, who remember so many details from their 67 years of marriage, have blocked this shocking display from their minds! (And, why can’t I forget it?)
I picture my dad going to buy it and installing it in the backyard without Mom’s input. He has always been like that. He’d see something that he thought would work and act on it. I’m sure he was happy to bless my mom. I’m also pretty sure Mom would have been happier with a garden gnome.
Things were a lot different in the 1960s. (They say if you remember the sixties, you weren’t there.) Perhaps my parents were classier than I give them credit. Maybe there was an artsy side of them that I did not appreciate at the tender age of nine. After all, I always liked the velvet painting of a matador that Dad brought home from Mexico. Yes, that’s the story and I’m sticking with it.