city scape black and white painting
It’s “the Jud”

In the late 60’s my sister-in-law Patty worked in downtown Chicago as a journalist.  Fresh from her graduation at Marquette, she became a REAL city girl, with a big-time job at a news station nestled in one of the skyscrapers. 

Patty described it as a bustling, creative time for writers and artists of all sorts and she made a friend in Jud, who, despite his day job in graphic design, longed to JUST be an artist, a painter.  And he was! Photo evidence above. 

I believe this is the only piece he ever let go of.  Admonishing his own skill, faulting his technique, he scoffed at Patty’s praise. Still, she wrestled it from him, insisting on preserving and framing this bold, black and white depiction of the Chicago financial district, circa 1968. 

Since then, it’s logged more miles than some humans 😉.  It’s a shared treasure. Residing first in Patty’s closet-sized apartment in Chicago, then migrating to the suburbs, eventually to Alaska and then back to the Midwest. 

It’s a beloved piece, in part because of Jud’s humility.  There’s been fake-family-fighting for years about who takes possession and for how long.  We just referred to it as ‘the Jud’.

Today when I passed “the Jud”, nestled nicely in a picture-perfect spot in our entry way, I smiled.  Patty jokingly said, maybe two years ago, “It’s time – I want MY Jud back” and we did the fake fighting and verbal tussling about it, telling her if she wanted it, she’d need to fly in from Alaska to fetch it.  All in good fun.

I wrote about the importance of family mementos a few weeks ago, right after Patty passed away unexpectedly.  Take a look at that post if you have a moment. The loss of her still stings; seems unreal.

My point?  Remember those who’ve passed – however you can.  Even if it’s just a city scene, painted by a dear man who will forever be an artist. Thanks to Patty.

-Vicki ❤

7 thoughts on “One Precious Painting

  1. This story melts my heart. What a special reminder of your sister, and of Jud’s humility (and talent)! We had an elderly neighbor–an extremely chatty and charming little old Italian man–who was always short on cash because he sent money to his granddaughter in college. He spent his days knocking on people’s doors asking if he could pick some fruit from their trees…I think that man lived off bitter oranges and sour grapefruit! Every time I pass a citrus tree, I can’t help but think of him and smile.

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  2. Of course I had to go back and read the post about Patty too, and oh goodness, I loved both of them! So sweet – you’ve perfectly captured the essence of family, and done it in a beautiful, heartwarming way!

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  3. “Remember those who’ve passed – however you can.” Beautiful, Vicki! And I love how you tell this story with the snippets of conversation that come back when we think of our loved ones. Wonderful and poignant!

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