Thursday, September 24, 2009



Letter from my father to my grandfather

My father, James Millard Galloway, was an artist. As a child, I remember our family going on picnics in the country. These outings usually consisted of a drive through country roads and a stop along the way so that he could paint.

Later in life, he exhibited his work throughout the country at art shows and won many prestigious awards, such as Best of Show at the Butler Museum of Art in Youngstown, Ohio. His most precious works, however; as far as I’m concerned, were the letters he wrote to family members while he served in Europe during WWII and especially the love letters he wrote to my mother.

Letter to my mother

I treasure these letters and have placed them in an ancestral album I created by using a bas-relief of a woman with a key in her hand. The title is “Nina Remembers.” Nina is my grandmother name. The key stands for doors to be opened for future generations.

Ancestral album in bas-relief

If you have not started an ancestral album, I highly recommend that you do. This is what I wrote as part of my cover statement:

“I can’t help but to wonder if therapists use pictures in their sessions with patients to help them unlock the secrets of their past. They certainly should. I feel as though, in writing and researching the album, I have just gone through a self-analyzation of my psyche. Some of the pictures revealed hidden memories. Others of things I had forgotten or repressed. Many are of tremendously happy or sad times. An awakening. “

Close up of bas relief titled "Nina Remembers"

The love letters are beautiful. My father‘s handwriting was of a scrolled calligraphy- artistic and elegant. He drew and painted all the pictures on them, even though he had little to work with as far as materials go. He had trouble finding anything but a few colored pencils. Because the beautifully composed poetic love letters were personal to my parents, I choose not to read them. I will leave that to some future generation of my descendants. I can, however; enjoy their beauty.

Letter to my mother

Christmas card

Letter to his mom and dad

My dad, James Millard Galloway

My parents, Jane and Jim Galloway

Love letters

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