David Toal 1945-1978. This wasn’t the photo I was looking for when I decided to post something for fathers day. Of course that was this time last year, and this post has been sitting in ‘draft’ form since then so here goes.
The picture I intended to share was a *classic* of my dad smiling in a somewhat festive spirit, in the kitchen of our small Armstrong house, stubby empties and ashtrays strewn about. He was holding a hand written sign, not unlike Bob Dylans’ Subterranean Homesick Blues video from 1967, which was both whimsical and poetic. At least it seemed so to me. The text on the sign read, “Reality is a crutch“.
He wasn’t an artist, but this (now missing) picture is etched into the list of very few memories I have about the guy.
Few memories, and fewer artifacts. Among the collection of items that comprise my inheritance are; a bobcat skin rug from the animal he hunted, a burl from a tree he felled, and a couple of vinyl bins for the records he spun. In addition, and more appropriate considering this weeks upcoming sketching symposium, I hold his only known sketchbook, also from 1967 when he would have been 22. In recent years, I have been trying to declutter my life, and stop carrying many of these so-called treasures unless they filled a very specific need. The drawings are difficult to part with though because they take up so little space and I hoard paper and art enough as it is. That said, I felt that by scanning and sharing them here, I could part with yet another item from my past. I can’t say that my father inspired me to become an artist, but I do look on these fondly as a glimpse into his perception of life as a young man.