Wednesday, December 31, 2008

My Grandpa's Set-Up


I painted the two pub signs above for my grandpa's "set-up." He's been working on a town diorama for the past 10 years or so. He doesn't stick to any one scale, but on the average I'd say it's about 1/32. It used to take up the entire wall of his living room. Now at 94 he lives in an assisted living home, so he only has room on his window sill. His newest addition is a scratch-built pub. My mom thought it would be a good Christmas gift for me to make signs. The balsa wood swan sign is 3 inches tall. I also sent little color print-outs of old Guinness posters to decorate the model pub's walls.

These two small photos are from his 2002 spring/summer "set-up," as he calls it. He changed the buildings and terrain by season. The lighthouse is a Quaker Oats container. The church has a plexiglass roof so you can see inside.

I took the liberty of naming his pub the Black Swan. This is the pub in Bristol, UK where his Army unit was working during WWII. I have been interviewing him about his service during the war. He was part of the transportation corp, moving supplies in England, Normandy and later, Antwerp. I'm amused at all the stories centering around food and drink. For instance, there were no pubs in Utah Beach, so the officers couldn't figure out how the men were all getting drink. The French family that owned the apple orchard were they were camped were giving the troops hard cavlados (apple brandy). The still was constructed of old airplane parts!



Having a drink in the photo above are men from my grandfather's unit, the 304th Port Co., 519th Port Bn. This is not the Black Swan. It's a bar in Antwerp, Belgium. This photo was provided to me by Dave Weaver (the guy 2nd from left in glasses).

Grandpa Corty in Antwerp.

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