Golden Childhood

Oil on gessoed paper

22 X 30

I played on the terrace, near the huge stairs which went up to the lobby area.  It was a large, paved area where I could skate, ride my tricycle, play badminton and shuffleboard, and play other children’s games with guests or my friends who came to visit.

We ate our meals in the grand dining room or the coffee shop every day.  The windows in this painting were located in the coffee shop, where we could have less formal meals, sandwiches, ice cream cones or sundaes.  There was a big, newsstand where newspapers from all over the US were available, magazines, and my favorite, comic books.  A big circular rack, stuffed with all the oldies such as Little Lulu, Archie, Superman and other popular 10 cent comic books was my library, and children of guests were allowed to sit at a table and browse….and I browsed often.

I never realized what a special childhood I had until I became older; my brother was born when I was five, my sister when I was eight, and we lived there until our home was built in adjacent Edgewater Park in 1948, one block from the hotel.  We continued to enjoy all the privileges of hotel residency after we moved to our home until my dad left the company the year I went to Ole Miss, 1957.