A short while ago I posted some of my paintings from a few years back, in my “Arte’ Jondo” collection.  Some of which I painted individuals who had a story to tell, a story that often included the kind of events that could make up a character to a film or great novel.  Unique personalities who people seem to want to hear about.  One of these portraits, named “Chilaxable”, was of my Great Grandfather,  a true definition of a “Character”.


-“Chilaxable (Great Grandpa) oil on board”



My Great Grandfather was a “Train Hopper”, an original “HOBO”, traveling from one city and town to another, finding work as he planted his feet, but never staying long enough for a location to lose it’s allure.  He crafted his own knives, rolled his own cigarettes, and drank booze not by the glass, but rather by the gallon.  He wrote letters to his family (including my Mother) often, starting each sentence with old Calligraphy lettering.  One of the last letters my mom received from him, prior to his passing, he was 72 years old, and living with three women (way to go Gramps!), the stud never lost his “Mojo”.  My Mom still has the letter, on occasion she’d bring it out to read to me, and show me that even his writing had a style that rang out “One Cool Cat”.


He once slept in the back seat of my Aunt and Uncle’s car, -While they got into a CAR CRASH, sleeping through the whole accident, only to awake afterwards with the words ” What’s Going On?”  Although he had his wine with him in that incident, he always was a Calm, “No Worries”, Pana.  He was Chilled, he was “Laxable”, he was of course “Chilaxable”.


-“Great Gramps working the bar, he probably sipped more than he served.”



Prior to this painting being sold to a collector a couple years back, the painting drew many questions and conversations at several of my exhibit openings.   One such night, after telling a little about him, a “attendee” made the comment, “Doesn’t sound like he was such a great person, if he wasn’t around for his children.”

Needless to say, this pissed me off, but I ignored him, and walked away, ( Although truly I wanted to break his Jaw).  The fact is, no he wasn’t a good father or family man.  Not everyone is.  He wasn’t a career man, living the white picket fence dream neither.  Again Not everyone is, despite what society thinks is we all should be.  What is known is before he departed for a life of uncertainty,is that he and his wife (my great grandmother) experienced the lost of a child, which seems to have had a great effect on them both, as they split not too long after.


-“Great Gramps with his son (my Grandpa)”



The fact is not all of us are meant to live a so called “Normal” life.  I myself am one, much like my Great Grandpa.  We actually enjoy working different jobs here and there.  We actually enjoy not knowing where we’ll be or what tomorrow will bring.  We don’t care about what kind of car we drive or what yearly income we make.  We are able to escape, and go where no one can find us, and be “FREE” when we fill like it.  It’s not that we’re not family people, I love my family and I’m sure my GreatGrandfather did too.  Maybe he just wasn’t “father” material, or “Family” material.  Maybe he was just running from his past.  All I know is “No One’s Perfect”, but I’m proud I had a Bad Ace Great Gramps.


~ by jsesautte on May 16, 2012.

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