Tuesday, December 8, 2009



Morgan Lake

Oil on board, 7" x 5"
$125 plus $6 shipping in U.S.
SOLD


This pretty little lake sits just a few miles above the town of La Grande, Oregon. As kids, my friends and I would ride our bikes up here to fish, or just to explore. Morgan Lake road is steep, and in the winter it was (no doubt still is) a notorious sledding hill. I have an especially vivid memory from about age twelve of careening down that narrow icy track with a bent sled runner.

You know how wheel alignment problems on your car sometimes don't show up until it starts vibrating at a certain speed? That's what happened to my sled. When it really got up to speed, my American Flyer started chattering uncontrollably. Each time I tried to steer, it wildly overcorrected, throwing me into sudden lunges from one edge of the road to the other. I could barely stay on top of the beast. My toes were dug in, but stopping was useless on that ice.

Somehow I rounded a sharp curve, only to face a Jeep coming up the narrow road! Miraculously, the sled lurched in the right direction at the right time, sending me whizzing past the front tire by inches. I skidded off the roadway and down a steep embankment, heading straight toward a barbed wire fence! I closed my eyes and waited for the pain. When I opened them, I was lying half-buried in deep snow. The tracks showed that I had neatly sledded between the wires without so much as a scratch. My stocking cap was dangling from the wire.

Ah, it's a miracle we survive childhood, isn't it?

14 comments:

Mary Sheehan Winn said...

Whoa! Lucky you.
This is a beautiful painting.

Micah said...

lol....what a vivid picture!

Don Gray said...

Lucky indeed! Thanks, Mary.

Don Gray said...

Thanks, Micah!

rahina q.h. said...

wonderful painting and absolutely delightful story. i agree that surviving my own childhood has been quite a feat too!

Dean Grey said...

Don!

I love the shadows and reflections in the water!

-Dean

Don Gray said...

Thanks a lot, Rahina. Yes, we think we're invincible as kids, don't we?

Don Gray said...

Thanks for the visit and kind words, Dean.

Deborah Paris said...

Great childhood story Don! Now, let me tell you about the one when I was playing pony express on horseback..........

becky joy said...

Absolutely wonderful painting. It looks like my home state of Oregon.

Don Gray said...

Hi Becky--thank you! Where in Oregon are you from?

Marilyn said...

Like Micah, my exact response was "lol...wow!"
And I can see another image from the point of entry...cap dangling in the foreground and boots/snow drift in the background.
You painted such a vivid picture with your words that I had to go back to your original post.
Your work is exceptional, Don.

Don Gray said...

Deborah...tell me the Pony Express story...I'm all ears!

Don Gray said...

Glad you enjoyed it, Marilyn. Thank you for the encouragement.