When thinking about our prompt today of “favorite decade,” my mind when back to the 70’s, mostly because I was a kid at the time and it’s also when Star Wars came out and I’m a huge geek. Deciding what to paint to depict the decade was a bit tougher, so I just went with the first image that popped to mind. In this case it was our wood paneled station wagon, which provided quite a sense of pride for my dad. Though this was indeed an iconic car of the time, it looks extra bizarre when viewing it today. Why on earth would someone think to put wood paneling on a car? Well, it wasn’t really any leap in creativity. The fact was, nothing was safe from wood panels back then. Entire rooms would end up covered in the stuff. Walking into someone’s basement would feel like you’ve just entered a room-sized sauna without the heat. Our recreation room had walls with wooden shingles half way up them. It looked like the house had sneezed violently and inverted itself, leaving the roof on the inside. And I adored it! Some of the shingles were a bit loose and I had one that I found I could remove and replace so I could hide my little treasures behind it. It was amazing!
Our rec room was one of my favorite parts of my childhood home. It was a split level home, which meant there were not two full stories, but still an impressive number of levels. Below the rec room, there was a basement down a short flight of stairs and this was where my mother had her sewing machine and that was her domain. Thinking back, my dad didn’t really have a man cave in the house, as he didn’t have a lot of hobbies that I remember, save the time he tried making moonshine in the garage. But my domain was the rec room and so many happy memories happened there. It was there that we spent many happy Christmases together and where I opened a box to discover my Atari 2600, where I came downstairs to find a tree filled with teddy bears, and where I’d find the next little matchbox with Mom’s clever clue to the location of my advent gift for the day. There were not just one, but two pianos down there. Neither were traditional pianos as my dad had just gotten a deal on them. One was a former player piano that could no longer play itself and the other was a former church piano of some kind. The latter had little switches on it that didn’t do anything anymore, but I had fun flipping them anyway.
And best of all, that little room was where I first began drawing, writing and inventing things. I made elaborate contraptions where I could send marbles down their own fantastic amusement ride. I invented little games for my friends and I to play. I played both of those pianos, though not at the same time, and created my own little songs. When that once in a lifetime ice storm happened I wrote silly little mini-mysteries by a kerosene lamp. Then the 80’s came and I was becoming a teenager, and I realized I wasn’t a cool kid. I started to wonder and worry about things instead of just experiencing the wonder that came to me naturally. I was growing up, and that wood paneled station wagon was replaced with a more modern mode of transportation. And I would breathe a sigh of relief, because it was so embarrassing. The wood shingles didn’t hold their fascination for me anymore, and I’m not even sure what the future tenants discovered there when triumphantly ripping them off the wall. I was so busy looking forward back then, that I never took the time to look back. But now, I realize everything that made me who I am today happened during that time. So, I have loving memories for that particular decade. And I always try to remember and honor that little person and all of those crazy dreams he had back in the 70’s.
About the Doodlewash
Da Vinci Paint Co.: Aureolin, Vermilion, and Indigo (my “Vintage” Trio! Click Here To Purchase It!). Lamy Al-Star Safari Fountain Pen with black ink in an A5 Hahnemühle Watercolour Book. Want to purchase a print of this doodlewash? Send me a note with a link to this post, and I’ll add it to my shop!
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Creator of Doodlewash® and founder of World Watercolor Month™ (July) and World Watercolor Group™. Sharing daily watercolor illustrations and stories while proudly featuring talented artists from all over the world! If you’d like to be a guest artist on Doodlewash.com, contact me!