For our prompt of “Hot Dog” today, I decided to combine one with a drink and chips to create my favorite picnic food as a little kid in the 70’s. I don’t actually eat hot dogs anymore so that was where my mind went first. But, they always remind me of happy gatherings and fun times from childhood during the summer months. Indeed, a cold soda pop and potato chips were probably my favorite part of the meal. I don’t even drink soda anymore, but chips are still a lovely treat sometimes. Philippe and I got a bag on our last grocery delivery order, but I didn’t realize the size I had selected and it was terribly small. Indeed, it was appropriately family-sized for a family of two, but I was hoping it might last all week. But chips aren’t really made to last, they’re made to be eaten with pure abandon thanks to their insidiously addictive nature. I’ll have to make a note to myself to get a bigger bag the next time around.

With my head stuck in the 70’s this afternoon, I decided to double-down and watch something from that time on television. Okay, well, have it on in the background while I did a million other things. I noticed that Disney Plus was promoting Schoolhouse Rock! and the answer was made for me. I turned it on and ended up going through every little clip of every season. The music was so good and so memorable. Philippe even joined me for a time and agreed that it was super cool. If we had kids, we’d have them watch it as it’s much smarter and more informative than the things that seem to go viral these days for kids. Of course, now I’m still singing Conjuction Junction, I’m Just A Bill, and Interplanet Janet and probably will be the remainder of the evening. I remember seeing that little cartoon bill on the steps waiting to be made a law and it actually made me weepy as a kid.

Though I can’t credit Schoolhouse Rock! alone for my love of childhood, it was certainly a wonderful part. And watching it again today brought back so many fantastic memories of enjoying cartoons on Saturday mornings and getting excited when one of these little musical clips would appear. It’s true that I was a total nerd, so any chance to sing multiplication tables or learn about history was an exciting thing indeed. Not sure if my teachers appreciated me singing out my answers in class or not. Today, I’m not into math as much, but I still love science and history. I’m much older now, but I remember that little boy well. I think he had a very different idea of how his life might turn out. He dreamed of being so many things that I’ve never become. But, there’s still time to chase a few more of those dreams. And it was such a joy to take a stroll down memory lane and spend some quality time with that child inside, while sketching a vintage picnic.

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About the Doodlewash

Da Vinci Paint Co.: Gold Ochre, Hansa Yellow Medium, Quinacridone Red, Benzimida Orange, Terra Cotta, and Indigo. 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!
Hot Dog Potato Chips Orange Crush Watercolor Painting Illustration Sketchbook Detail


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35 thoughts on “Vintage Picnic

  1. We didn’t do hot dogs very much when I was a kid. We were hamburger and brat people. These days I like Chicago Style dogs every once in a while. If it’s just Joe and I grilling out we are most likely to have chicken or steak. Potato salad or cole slaw beat out chips. A bit later in summer we have corn on the cob as often as I can talk Joe in to it. There is seldom soda around here either. Though my neighbor has started buying these tiny cans of orange Crush. I like one of those when it’s hot out.

    1. Aww that’s cool that your neighbor gets some orange Crush! I actually haven’t tasted one in years, but loved it back in the day! 😃💕 And I think these days, I’d take the grilled chicken and steak! Yum!

  2. We use to have a hot dog cooker that had prongs. You’d stick the hot dog on one at each end and it would cook them with electricity. It made the BEST hot dogs. The skin would be crisp and the insides rich and juicy. I think you can still get the machines, but the hot dogs these days – yech! I don’t think even that cooker would make them good.

    1. Yeah, I thought it was that I was getting older, but I had a hot dog a few years ago at a family gathering and it didn’t taste good anymore. Not sure what they’re made of these days (and I wasn’t too sure back then! lol) 😉

  3. Hello Charlie,

    It’s already Sunday morning here in India and it was a fabulous treat to wake up to such a perfectly captured memory of long ago summer picnics in NY. Its so wonderful to see that little kid in you resurface so happily & effortlessly time & again. 🙂


    P. S. Im VERY glad to know that you dont like math so much anymore. Just made you one of my very favorite people. 🙂

  4. Iconic! Love it! I occasionally love a good hot dog. The only thing wrong with yours, is the the mustard. Give me ketchup please! Tee hee….conjunction junction, what’s your function. I’m a bit older than you and never really watched, but did hear parts of it. 🙂

  5. Looks delicious, Charlie. When I tipped the laptop screen I thought the hot dog would roll away! I prefer red dogs, Tri-Sum chips and a Moxie! My kids enjoyed the Schoolhouse Rock shows too, and actually learned stuff. My daughter still likes to point out grammar errors to her kids, right from S/Rock! Misplaced antecedents and hanging participles, good grief!! Great memories to keep close to the heart.

  6. I’m with you on the soda, though I never really cared for it. Nowadays, I enjoy those flavored seltzer drinks with the fancy names – Ginger Peach Ras-a das or Honey Do and Don’t Apple. Silly, but no more so than hot dogs and chips and a soda for a meal. Still, your painting made me want one of each – something enchanting about the bun or the mustard or the memory of how delicious they were.

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