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These three paintings are taken from photographs I recently received from my sister. The first painting is from a photo taken in 1945. The middle painting is from 1960. The third is from 1950. Each of these three paintings have a blank space where the photograph had been clipped or torn. The person removed from each photo was my father. 

 

I do not know who clipped or tore the photo but I suspect it was my mother or my step-father.

 

My mom and father were married in 1941. My father was a WW2 vet with the 82nd Airborne. After the war, he worked for J & L Steel in Pittsburgh as a steelworker. They had five children. 

 

One day in 1960, while the mill was on strike, and we were all in Florida, my dad took the car and left. My mom was pregnant with my little sister. I was six. The family never saw or heard from my father again until I found him in the mid-70s, when I was in the US Marines. 

 

It goes without saying, his leaving had an enormous impact on the family. I grew up without much of a role-model, my sister felt abandoned, my older brothers were left hanging, and my mother had to struggle to keep us fed and clothed.