Adventures with Mom

My mother was always a big supporter of my drawings. She always had the dream that I’d be a famous artist living in an upscale flat in a downtrodden part of New York City someday. Maybe a converted warehouse or something. Of course, that never happened, mostly because I didn’t want to live in New York and be a famous artist. I just wanted to make a living and pay bills. But, hey, moms can dream.

Anyway, one day during summer break (I was in college at the time) I mentioned to Mom that I’d like to paint some pictures of Detroit. I thought it would be cool to get a bunch of black-and-white photos of stuff on the streets—just everyday stuff, factories, abandoned houses, whatever. Mom was jazzed. We got in the car and set out for the big city. For several hours, we drove around on the freeways and backstreets (fortunately, she knew her way around) while I took pictures out the window. Once she stopped on I-75 as we were crossing the Rouge River so I could get pictures of the industrial buildings at the river’s edge. She put on the hazard lights and kept an eye out for the police. I suppose we could have got a ticket for using the emergency lane to take pictures—unless she talked her way out of it. She was good at that. She’d be all “What’s your badge number?” and “I know people on the city council.” Which she probably did. Not that it would have made a difference.

Anyway, I got a lot of good pictures from that little road trip, and we didn’t get any tickets, and I ended up doing a few drawings. But no, I never got to that flat in New York.

no parking

No Parking: An electric plant on a street corner in Detroit.


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