Elkhorn Club

This is a pastel my Mother drew a few years after my Dad died. She moved to the big city and enrolled in the Minnesota Academy of Art and Design. She had always wanted to be an artist although her only serious medium was watercolor. MCAD made her take classes in a variety of mediums including  weird stuff like video production.

I believe this picture was created for an Illustration class. Her work in this class gave me the idea of collaborating with her in the production of a children's book. Alas, it was never completed.

This picture of a couple dancing in the glare of a parked car's headlights was inspired by the times Mom and Dad did the same thing late at night in the Kansas countryside. The wine bottle and wine glasses are the only fiction. My folks didn't drink in Kansas which was then a dry state. In fact, when my parents were going to college my Father formed a club within his fraternity which abstained from alcohol. They called themselves the Elkhorn, or possibly the Alkorn, Club. Among its members was my father's younger brother, my  Uncle Frank .

They made up a song for the club. Its only lyric was "Elkorn" which was repeated over and over again to the tune of Yankee Doodle Dandy. Each stanza  concluded with the word "Elkhorny."

For the purposes of the illustration my Mother wanted to emphasize that the dancers were free spirits. To that end she included the wine on the hood of the car.  This is the picture's only fiction. By the time she drew this she was long past tee totaling. Although my folks rarely drank until I was in high school, and even then only a few times a year, today Mom likes a nice sweet white zin before bedtime.