This blog is all about one of my favorite, and most visited, tiny pieces of my world. Yes, it’s the corner of our master bedroom bathroom where the toilet resides. Over the years it’s grown into a little mini-shrine of my life.
Fittingly, since I’m a southpaw, from left to right: The stained glass in the wooden frame was salvaged from Urban Park Methodist Church in Dallas where Nita and I were hitched back in 1972. The church faded away and the building was razed some years back. Nita’s sister, who was also married there, talked her way into buying or being given several of the small stained glass windows. Our son Ben reframed the window, making a maple frame to fit. It’s colorful and every day reminds me how lucky I am that Nitabird married me.
Next is a late 1980’s poster of an art museum exhibit of Edgar Degas paintings in Washington DC. I like hot baths and bathing women, with and without strategically draped towels, and this particular painting is modest for the French impressionist Degas. So, I bought the poster and hung it near our bathtub. Some years later, perhaps owing to my daily encounter with Degas’ bathing beauty, his fictional brother became a character in Whittled Away, my first Civil War novel. The historical French artist’s mother was in fact an American Creole, so I created a plausible link in my story which includes an ink drawing of a naked bathing lady drawn by Edgar Degas and mailed to his fictional brother who was campaigning in the Confederate army. Maybe it’s a stretch, but I like it and the teenage Texas soldiers in Whittled Away really liked the bathing lady drawing. I mean, what's not to like?
Last is the art deco-ish shelf over the toilet. On top is a bunch of miniature wargaming soldiers I painted, and which carry the banner of the 17th Texas Infantry, the Confederate regiment about which my most recent Civil War novel, With Might & Main, is written.
Behind the little soldiers stands a giant rooster playing a guitar. No, he is not Foghorn Leghorn or his cousin. This colorful bird arrived when Nita was being a troubadour at several Methodist Church retreats called Walks to Emmaus. Somehow, the rooster just fits and makes me smile.
On the bottom shelf stand two big blue plastic Civil War soldier toys, both painted by son Ben back when he was a little guy and wanted to do what daddy was doing that morning—painting toy soldiers.
In front of the clock that came from my dad is another wargaming figure—a Carthaginian war elephant I painted over 30 years ago. And flanking the elephant are two antique lead toys, likely from England, a gift from my good neighbor Wayne.
The final gee-gaw on the shelf is the tall blue Egyptian cat. I don’t why it’s there, I don’t even like cats. I’m a dog guy. We did go to Dallas to see a travelling King Tut exhibit way back in time, so maybe we bought it there because a mummy wouldn’t fit in the car trunk. Who knows.
If this silly post merits a big raspberry, go ahead and toot. I won’t care. I think I just needed to write something light-hearted and goofy to move past my last post about my dad passing away. Thanks for reading it.