Wednesday, August 15, 2007

A Childhood Disappointment

When I was a lad, growing up in an almost-exclusively Catholic neighborhood in a heavily Catholic town, nearly every household (except ours, oddly) seemed to have this picture prominently displayed somewhere:

It so happened in those days that our next-door neighbor was a teacher, and, as is often the case with teachers, had to seek part-time employment, especially during the summer months, in order to make a living. (Then as now, the concept of paying mere teachers a living wage was alien.) So he worked part-time as a painter.

Well, you know how it is with kids: They're stupid. So somehow, when I was five or six, I put together that our next-door neighbor, Lew, was a painter; the family had the above-featured portrait of Jesus hanging in their living room; therefore, Lew had painted it.

It was only some years later that I realized that Lew worked part-time as a house painter; that the portrait was available at any Christian bookstore; and that Lew was not the artist.

Over the past 40 or 45 years, I've slowly come to terms with this disappointment. No idea how Lew's doing with it, though.

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