Blog Your Blessings: Graffiti, Dad Style

I doubt when I was growing up that my parents could have foreseen the day my father would have dropped me off on the side of the road to step out over the highway on a catwalk to photograph graffiti on a railroad bridge. Or that on that jaunt I would find myself eye-to-eye with a train while I was taking photos on the inside of the bridge. Or that we would spend all of a clear-blue January weekday trying like two intrepid explorers (lunatics) to find a graffiti piece that is perfectly visible from the interstate but completely hidden from the city streets that surround it.

I doubt they would have foreseen that Wednesday any more than I would have. We are law-abiding people who do our doodling on scrap paper when we're waiting for phone calls. Graffiti as an aesthetic and as a fascinating subculture didn't rate on my List of Favorite Things until I was on my way out of college.

"Why can't you collect stamps?" dad joked as I jumped into his truck after the close encounter with the freight train.

"Done that," I joked back.

Being with dad for the day--first in Manchester and then in Hartford, Connecticut's capital--was the best part about the Graffiti Experience of January 16. The second best part was enjoying the luxury of seeing the city through my camera (and a clean windshield) as we drove about. Hartford is chock full of interesting buildings, colorful neighborhoods, and activity. We found brown paper murals of people socializing pasted up in the windows of an empty shop front, a mural on a gable wall depiciting Hispanic pride, glass buildings distorting reflections of older structures into Dali-esque illusions, and, always, that wonderful gold dome of the capitol building.

For me, the blessing of graffiti is getting a close look at home, of seeing these cities in all their grimy splendor. We came home with a sense of Hartford's size, shape, texture, and color. Graffiti made us look.

Neither dad nor I earned a penny on Wednesday. Oh well. It would take a fair few coppers to add up to good time with a good person in a beautiful place.

(P.S. There's a mom side to this story, but it deserves its own place. That'll be next week.)

Blog Your Blessings


  1. Anonymous8:04 PM

    That's a unique adventure, to be sure. And certainly a ton of fun!

  2. I can't wait to hear your mother's side of the story!
    I really enjoyed this post.

  3. what a wonderful day must have been!

  4. A horse is a very acceptable animal to be, Sandy... 1966 is a very famous year: Not only were you born, but the first Superbowl was played, and I got married!

  5. Don't know if you saw this...

  6. I don't think Grafitti is something I have seen in my small town.

    Reading your posts makes me feel that I am missing out on something. :o)

    Have a great week ahead!

  7. What a wonderful adventure to be shared with your Dad! How very special this is!

  8. Enjoy the times with your Dad, I do miss mine.

  9. Anonymous2:24 PM

    What a wonderful story and a wonderful blessing of time with a special person.

    Looking forward to next weeks instalment.

    Happy BYB Sunday,

    (I will get around to the meme in the week.)

  10. I like your words: "grimy splendor"! You're combining the dualities so well with the choice of these two words. Happy BYB Sunday!

  11. Anonymous4:29 PM

    What a wonderful adventure. Your dad loves it and you know it. He would feed you rope if you took up rappelling. You have a good dad.

  12. Cool hobby-I enjoy that graffiti site of yours.

    A clean windshield is a blessing indeed-especially in January!

  13. You certainly can not ever put a price on happyiness Sandy... I was 11 when my Dad died, it had a terrible effect on my teenage years.. so to me this post was priceless. Memory making at it's best. :O)

  14. a "good time with a good person in a beautiful place" -- PRICELESS!

    Love this piece & your ensuing "geometry" picture. Peace & love, JP/deb

  15. sure sounds like fun

    one thing i know though is that from your blogfluence, I have come to take more notice of graffiti & appreciate them more

    so looks like your interests are spreading as well ;)


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