The next two are portraits of two brothers, George and Jim Bartlett, who lived up the road when we moved to the neighborhood. I remember them taking long slow walks on the road. A few times I recall riding to their very dark ramshackle house on dirtbikes with my friend who lived in the area year round. In my memory they gave us storebought pink fluffy marshmallowy cookies with shredded coconut on top. Occasionally George would knock on the door to my dad's place and come in. All work on the house would cease – which never happened – and my dad would sit with him at the kitchen table while he rolled cigarettes and told stories about the old days. I remember these involving beaver trapping at the stream below our house. His New Hampshire accent was so thick that I had trouble following his words. I was a little scared of these guys.
This drawing was done from a photo my dad took at a nearby county fair. When I was young and the drawing was still on my dad's easel, the photo clipped to the side for reference, I thought this boy was the coolest kid on the planet. A smaller version of this piece hangs in the New Hampshire Statehouse.
As toddler, before the house was finished enough to move in, I slept in a crib my dad made, with these carved and painted wooden animals. Such a piece would never have passed review by the child safety commission, with all its awkward openings for little legs and heads to get stuck in. But I survived it.