9" x 12"
oil on canvas board
The virtual paintout traveled to Vilnius, Lithuania this month. I put myself down in the oldest part of town because my father-in-law originally came from the countryside right outside of, what was then, Vilna. He went to school in the town so I imagined him on these streets. Once when asked if he would like to go back and visit the old country he said, "Are you nuts"?.
I can see why when I travel along these streets and see a magnificent church around almost every turn. I imagine Charlie as a young Jew, who was frightened by pograms, gazing from one of these narrow streets at one of these churches and experiencing nothing but anger. It is ironic that when he came to America he ended up on the south side of Chicago and forever after spoke with an irish brogue. He came to this country when he was 11, not speaking a word of English, with very little money, eventually working in the stock yards while going to medical school, graduating when he was 27. He was a tough guy, a man of few words, who was forever grateful to be an American.