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The Return Of The Munk

Several months ago, I wrote a piece about my nemesis the Chipmunk. (See https://rizziallen.wordpress.com/2016/05/27/me-and-the-munk/)

There I was in my serene bliss, thinking back upon the days when Mr. Chipmunk was torturing me with his crafty acts of thievery. I sighed a bit to think he had gone to the great grain silo in the sky after being gathered up in the jaws of our neighbor’s dog. Cruel fate but what did it matter? The little son of a bitch was gone! Or so I thought.

The warm afternoon enveloped me as I sat with my gin and tonic in hand, gazing into my green backyard. At first I thought I saw a bird out of the corner of my eye. It was just a little movement in the grass but it looked loathsomely familiar. I strained my eyes for a closer look. Good God, it was him! And then I thought I saw three tiny jumping bumps behind him. Lord, he was back and this time he brought the whole family!

I stumbled up and out of my chair to break the news to my wife in the kitchen. “The little bastard’s back and now there are three more of them!” I blurted. “Three of what?” was the response. We both went back onto the deck and watched as three (or was it four) chipmunks romped back and forth through our yard. It was like the movie Groundhog Day but with a smaller cast. I jumped full on into my yard as if to protect my fiefdom from these varmints. They immediately scattered and I was left with the same question as months earlier: What to do?

In the First Battle of The Munk, we decided against the plank. It seemed too cruel to lure an animal with food to a drowning in a bucket. Besides, I’m not much for dispatching animals of any kind, even those who cause me grief. But as the chipmunk continued to wreak his havoc in my yard in his second annual assault, I remembered Walmart has a nice Daisy pellet rife with a scope. Hmm.

We thought about what to do for a week or so. The rifle was purchased. I reluctantly took a couple of shots with that pellet rifle but I only managed to break the bird feeder that my nemesis sat upon. Finally, I just let it go. In a world that is full of nuclear threats from third world midgets and crazy people shooting each other down for naught, it seemed as though a my battle with the chipmunk paled in importance. Yes, it is still frustrating to be constantly outwitted by a rodent and yes I would rather he find someone else to haunt. But I’m sure he or one of his spawn will be back every spring just to let me know who’s really the boss. I am destined to forever hear that now familiar faint murmur from my back yard: Veni, Vidi, et torquentur.

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Did You Ever Have To Make Up Your Mind?

It’s a great line from the The Lovin’ Spoonful’s song of the same title. It’s kept me on the straight and narrow for years. Why? Because early on, I learned that you can’t have everything and that you need to constantly make decisions: Smart decisions that benefit your life and don’t destroy it. It seems simple enough yet there are millions of people who just can’t say ….”pick up on one and leave the other behind.” This includes everything from a spouse to a job to a way of living. It can’t all be done in a life time so some real critical thinking has to be employed and decisions have to be made straight away.

Here’s the complete lyrics written by John Sebastian:

Did You Ever Had To Make Up Your Mind?

Did you ever have to make up your mind?
And pick up on one and leave the other behind?
It’s not often easy and not often kind.
Did you ever have to make up your mind?

Did you ever have to finally decide?
And say yes to one and let the other one ride?
There’s so many changes and tears you must hide.
Did you ever have to finally decide?

Sometimes there’s one with big blue eyes, cute as a bunny,
With hair down to here, and plenty of money,
And just when you think she’s that one in the world,
Your heart gets stolen by some mousy little girl,

And then you know you’d better make up your mind.
And pick up on one and leave the other behind.
It’s not often easy and not often kind.
Did you ever have to make up your mind?

Sometimes you really dig a girl the moment you kiss her,
And then you get distracted by her older sister.
When in walks her father and takes you in line,
And says, “Better go on home, son, and make up your mind.”

And then you bet you’d better finally decide.
And say yes to one and let the other one ride.
There’s so many changes and tears you must hide.
Did you ever have to finally decide?

Here’s the original mono recording: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K8NZUdtEuKI

Have You Ever Had To Make Up Your Mind? Well, have you?

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American Term Limits Initiative

For years, America has talked about term limits for our local, state and national elected officials. Sadly congress, both local and national, itself must enact legislation to limit their own terms which they will never do. The time has come to quit talking and act.

The American Term Limits Initiative is here and it is super simple. It puts the power back in the citizen’s hands. Since elected officials won’t act, we will. Every American, regardless of political party or philosophical persuasion can simply do the following four things:

1) Register to vote if not already registered.

2) Vote against any incumbent in any election (primary or general) who has already served 8 years in office in national, state and local offices, regardless of their record.

3) Write elected officials indicating your intentions to vote against incumbents who have already served 8 years in office.

4) Sign the term limits petition located at: https://www.termlimits.org/termlimitspetition/?gclid=CM-1wcK0jtMCFZCLaQod7aINMA

It is doubtful that a national referendum on this subject will ever succeed and there is no way elected officials will ever impose term limits on themselves. It’s our country. Let’s do it for them! Take the above steps and be part of the solution.

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Medicine – The Foreplay Of Death

The human body and mind are susceptible to a wide variety of maladies which can occur at any age. Most of us are fortunate enough that sickness does not arrive until later in life. Some are not so fortunate. All along the way, there is this thing called medicine.

We begin taking medicine in our infancy: Everything from polio shots to vitamins. As we get older, our medicine changes. Some need acne medicine, others need asthma medication. But what is clear is the older we get, the more medicine we seem to need. In addition to what we actually need, we are constantly enticed to use more. Medicine is indeed the foreplay of death.

Today in America, we have an over-drugging of our entire population courtesy of the nation’s large drug companies and the Wall Street pushers behind them. If you watch television for only one hour a week, you will see a plethora of advertisements telling you that you absolutely need some medicating. We have become a nation of whining, pill popping nincompoops who have all but lost the will to say no. Most Americans cheerfully guzzle a Z-Pack when they get the slightest sniffle and then wonder why they have become immune to most antibiotics. Duh! According to the lords of the TV, most of us need a pill for just about everything from procreating to rheumatism and if one pill doesn’t do the trick, a six-pack is often better.

The good folks of television land also insist that everyone has somewhat uncommon illnesses like plague psoriasis, advanced rheumatoid arthritis and bi-polar disorders. Christ, what about the common cold? Oh yeah, they occasionally have something to peddle for that too. But whoa Nellie! What about those side effects? I mean, do we really want to risk an “increased risk of stroke or death” over cough syrup? Methinks not!

This is not to say that there are legitimate reasons for taking medicine. Medical research has provided us with many useful drugs that improve quality of life as well as cure what was incurable hundreds of years ago. That is the major upside to medicine. The downside is that we are taking too much of what we don’t really need. Either way, in the end, medicine is the foreplay of death.

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What’s Important And What’s Not

What’s important and what’s not? That’s the biggie question that all of us get around to answering sooner or later. Just like the Ten Commandments guide our lives whether we like it or not, the truth of what’s important has the same effect. The trouble is that almost all of us have a different learning curve.

When we are young, our sense of importance usually revolves around ourselves. We are self-important, self-centered and self-serving. We pretty much tend to ordain what’s important in our lives. The rest doesn’t really matter as long as we’re having fun. Our cars are cool, and our girls are fast or at least we think so. That’s what’s important; the rest is not.

Time has a way of changing everything in our lives including the ordering of what’s important and what’s not. When we hit the marrying age, our sense of self-importance is usually accompanied by the importance of others, namely spouses and family. We begrudgingly give up some of our self-importance and replace it with concern for other people and other things. Our view of what’s important shifts a bit. Family is what’s important, money is important but cool cars and trolling the mall becomes what’s not.

When middle age rolls around (Hey, it does folks!), our view of what’s important and what’s not changes again. Health becomes a major focus when just a few years ago, it wasn’t even on the radar for most of us. Family, money and free time are important. What’s not important are small things like receding hairlines and exceeding waistlines. Notice that the money thing is still there.

At last, geezerdom is upon us and what’s important suddenly becomes small. Just another tomorrow or two would be fine. Health is extremely important but the money angle has faded toward what’s not. Most of us do a count every year and figure we will probably scrape by until we kick the bucket. That bucket or more precisely when it gets kicked becomes all important. What’s not? Pretty much every thing else.

What’s important and what’s not? It depends on whether you’re standing on the starting line or the finishing line or somewhere in between.

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James E. Allen Etchings – Iron Men (Teaming Ingots)

For Sale

I am the great-nephew of artist James E. Allen. I have several works his for sale including the following:

Iron Men, (Teaming Ingots) (undated 1935) Two men With Crucible
17”x13” Pencil Signed Etching #73 Mary Ryan Gallery Catalog 1984
Inscription: “To my father. Christmas 1935.”

Price: $6,900

This is an original, signed etching by famed artists James E. Allen. It is NOT a copy. This original was inscribed to his father William Henry Allen for Christmas 1935 and hence is quite rare.

Serious Inquiries Only May Be Directed To This Site

Background

James Edmund Allen was born on February 23, 1894 in the small town of Louisiana, located on the west bank of the Mississippi in Pike County, Missouri. Three years later, he moved with his family to a rural area on Mill Creek just outside Anaconda, Montana. There, his parents William Henry Allen and Annie May Scoggins raised their small family. The family had moved west to join cousins already in the area and involved with mining and timber interests. This was still the untamed west, full of excitement, intrigue and danger.

Growing up in Montana, James became known as “Edd” to his family and friends. With his younger brother, Elmer Leroy Allen (1896-1971), Edd developed a love for the rugged outdoor life in Montana. Edd liked horses and often accompanied his father and brother on hunting trips far into the rugged mountains that surround Anaconda. It was here that Edd first began developing his skills as an artist, concentrating on outdoor scenes portraying men at work. This style, portraying the muscle of America, became the hallmark of his future success as an artist.
James Edmund Allen

Edd worked with one of the Allen owned timber companies in Anaconda as a flume yard operator. The work was hard and dangerous. In his free time, he continued to hone his artistic skills and spend time with his family and friends. A tall, good looking young man, Edd soon fell in love with and married the young Grace Parmelee who was born January 8, 1899. The couple’s first child, Charlotte May was born November 4, 1917. At the outbreak of World War I, Edd joined the United States Armed Forces along with younger brother Elmer, known as Lee. Both brothers arrived in the European theater in 1917 where they served with the American Expeditionary Forces in Germany. Lee served with the Army as a horseman, breaking horses while Edd became a 2nd Lieutenant and flier.

After returning from the war in Europe, Edd resumed his work as an illustrator and artist with renewed vigor, living among other artists in the well-known Interlaken Colony near Asbury Park, New York. His second daughter, Jo Ann, was born November 24, 1923. In 1925, he traveled to Paris where he shared a studio with fellow printmaker Howard Cook. There he experimented with various artistic media, making lithographs and etchings for the first time. Forced by the Depression to return to the United States, he moved back to New York, where he continued to hone Edd in WW I his skills as a printmaker under Joseph Pennell and William Auerbach-Levy. Industrial scenes from the post-depression era that portrayed the muscular images of men working on railroads, buildings, and bridges began to form a large part of his graphic subject matter. Examples include The Builders (etching, 1932), The Accident (etching, 1934), Spider Boy (etching, 1937), The Flats (lithograph, 1937) and Distress (lithograph, 1938).

In the decade from 1930 to 1940, Edd’s work found great commercial success in the pages of many favorite magazines including Collier’s and Good Housekeeping. In addition to illustrations for single articles, Edd’s illustrations would also support a series of stories, as was the case with Emma-Lindsay Squier’s series of pirate stories, which appeared in Good Housekeeping from 1932 to 1935. While his repertoire was versatile and energetic, Edd’s illustrations most always portrayed people of determination, action and strength. In addition to achieving success as a commercial illustrator, Edd also contributed to the short story genre with western tales of life on the ranch.

Despite the demands of a busy life, Edd always remembered his father with much love and affection. During a visit from his father on January 27, 1930, he painted a portrait of the elder Allen as a gift at Dann’s Station, Trenton, New Jersey. In 1939, he penciled an original work as a Christmas present for his father. It shows two bears on a mountain cliff looking down into a valley with a road suggesting progress winding toward them. The lovely work is inscribed simply: “To my straight shooting dad, Christmas 1939.”

Edd died September 9, 1964 at Larchmont in the state of New York where he had lived for many years. He left a legacy of very fine art that is just now beginning to reach its fullest appreciation with the American public. His works are in demand and may be found for sale today in the catalogs of several prominent art dealers. In the spirit that was ingrained in his work, James Edmund Allen lived the American dream of imagination, daring, hard work and success.

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#MeToo

The #MeToo hashtag has trended on Twitter for some time and resounded around the world as the legitimate mantra of women who have been sexually assaulted or abused. All of these women (an a couple of men) should be applauded for stepping up with courage and speaking out. They are most certainly right to do so.

However, there are a couple of things that need to be addressed with this movement. The first is somewhat obvious. Why would any woman or man wait 10, 20 or 30 years to report sexual abuse? It’s a fair question. If a person was a victim of theft, identity fraud, assault on the street or a vehicular accident they would speak up immediately or lose most credibility in their complaint. We have all heard the excuses from Hollywood that basically translate into: “I was assaulted but my career and money were more important.” That illustrates a huge lack of character among some of these victims and speaks volumes about the Hollywood mindset as a whole.

The second thing that needs closer examination is the fact that the #MeToo movement has in some instances been hijacked as a political tool. Accusing someone of sexual misconduct is being used regularly to smear and defeat political opponents without any proof whatsoever. Often the public lacks the investigative skills to determine whether or not an accusation is factual. Law enforcement takes forever. Just ask any legitimate rape victim! However, things move quickly in politics and a mere rumor can kill a candidate before any facts are discovered. This #MeToo McCarthyism is becoming way too prevalent and detracts from the legitimacy of the movement and especially women everywhere who have real experiences with abuse, sexual assault and harassment.

The recent special senate election in Alabama was a good example. Roy Moore was accused for political reasons. His accusers were largely debunked but the damage had already been done. Is it really fair to convict someone without proof and due process? (By the way, I’m not a fan of Roy Moore by any means.) It can be a bit like calling a single mother a crack whore and having her kids taken away only to learn too late that she wasn’t guilty as accused. Likewise, when a person is patently guilty with abundant proof, such as Al Franken, we should not soften our condemnation for political reasons. In short, #MeToo should be taken out of politics and left to the realm of social justice and law enforcement.

A third thing to consider is whether or not we’ve gone overboard a bit in defining sexual abuse. If a man in the workplace tells a female coworker, “You look great today.” is that now going to be considered sexual harassment or simply a compliment? Can we still compliment each other without fear of reprisals and Gloria Allred showing up on our porch? Is it still okay to give a consoling hug to a woman who has just lost a family member? Or is that inappropriate touching? Will a man be held guilty of sexual harassment if he holds the door open for a woman? If we push these questions and answers too far off center, we are apt to become emotionless robots. Tough questions for tough times.

It is true that we must flush out all the perverts, abusers and rapists from all sectors of our society, not just government and Hollywood. They are everywhere: At work, at the market, at the doctor’s office and in every corner of our lives. They need exposing and punishing. But in the heat of the moment, it would be wise to remember the lessons of McCarthyism and vigilantism and where that led us. Brave women (and men too) should be encouraged and applauded for coming forward with true accusations but let’s not let this turn into a carnival of accusations against innocent people. In the end, it comes down to fully enforcing all applicable laws and not turning a blind eye for any reason to sexual misconduct but at the same tempering the unbridled @MeeToo enthusiasm to preserve our humanity. Like anything in life, #MeToo is a matter of truth snd balance.

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James E. Allen Etchings – Up Above The World

For Sale

I am the great-nephew of artist James E. Allen and I have several works his for sale including the following:

Up Above The World, (undated, 1936) Two Men Assembling Bar Iron On Skyscraper
15”x11” Pencil Signed Etching #90 Mary Ryan Gallery Catalog 1984 No Inscription

Price: $4,200

This is an original, signed etching by famed artists James E. Allen. It is NOT a copy.

Serious Inquiries Only May Be Directed To This Site

Background

James Edmund Allen was born on February 23, 1894 in the small town of Louisiana, located on the west bank of the Mississippi in Pike County, Missouri. Three years later, he moved with his family to a rural area on Mill Creek just outside Anaconda, Montana. There, his parents William Henry Allen and Annie May Scoggins raised their small family. The family had moved west to join cousins already in the area and involved with mining and timber interests. This was still the untamed west, full of excitement, intrigue and danger.

Growing up in Montana, James became known as “Edd” to his family and friends. With his younger brother, Elmer Leroy Allen (1896-1971), Edd developed a love for the rugged outdoor life in Montana. Edd liked horses and often accompanied his father and brother on hunting trips far into the rugged mountains that surround Anaconda. It was here that Edd first began developing his skills as an artist, concentrating on outdoor scenes portraying men at work. This style, portraying the muscle of America, became the hallmark of his future success as an artist.
James Edmund Allen

Edd worked with one of the Allen owned timber companies in Anaconda as a flume yard operator. The work was hard and dangerous. In his free time, he continued to hone his artistic skills and spend time with his family and friends. A tall, good looking young man, Edd soon fell in love with and married the young Grace Parmelee who was born January 8, 1899. The couple’s first child, Charlotte May was born November 4, 1917. At the outbreak of World War I, Edd joined the United States Armed Forces along with younger brother Elmer, known as Lee. Both brothers arrived in the European theater in 1917 where they served with the American Expeditionary Forces in Germany. Lee served with the Army as a horseman, breaking horses while Edd became a 2nd Lieutenant and flier.

After returning from the war in Europe, Edd resumed his work as an illustrator and artist with renewed vigor, living among other artists in the well-known Interlaken Colony near Asbury Park, New York. His second daughter, Jo Ann, was born November 24, 1923. In 1925, he traveled to Paris where he shared a studio with fellow printmaker Howard Cook. There he experimented with various artistic media, making lithographs and etchings for the first time. Forced by the Depression to return to the United States, he moved back to New York, where he continued to hone Edd in WW I his skills as a printmaker under Joseph Pennell and William Auerbach-Levy. Industrial scenes from the post-depression era that portrayed the muscular images of men working on railroads, buildings, and bridges began to form a large part of his graphic subject matter. Examples include The Builders (etching, 1932), The Accident (etching, 1934), Spider Boy (etching, 1937), The Flats (lithograph, 1937) and Distress (lithograph, 1938).

In the decade from 1930 to 1940, Edd’s work found great commercial success in the pages of many favorite magazines including Collier’s and Good Housekeeping. In addition to illustrations for single articles, Edd’s illustrations would also support a series of stories, as was the case with Emma-Lindsay Squier’s series of pirate stories, which appeared in Good Housekeeping from 1932 to 1935. While his repertoire was versatile and energetic, Edd’s illustrations most always portrayed people of determination, action and strength. In addition to achieving success as a commercial illustrator, Edd also contributed to the short story genre with western tales of life on the ranch.

Despite the demands of a busy life, Edd always remembered his father with much love and affection. During a visit from his father on January 27, 1930, he painted a portrait of the elder Allen as a gift at Dann’s Station, Trenton, New Jersey. In 1939, he penciled an original work as a Christmas present for his father. It shows two bears on a mountain cliff looking down into a valley with a road suggesting progress winding toward them. The lovely work is inscribed simply: “To my straight shooting dad, Christmas 1939.”

Edd died September 9, 1964 at Larchmont in the state of New York where he had lived for many years. He left a legacy of very fine art that is just now beginning to reach its fullest appreciation with the American public. His works are in demand and may be found for sale today in the catalogs of several prominent art dealers. In the spirit that was ingrained in his work, James Edmund Allen lived the American dream of imagination, daring, hard work and success.

Please follow this blog by clicking  follow below. Your comments are always welcome.

Read author Allen E. Rizzi’s latest books available at Amazon.com
Now Just $2.99

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When It Was Time To Say Goodbye

I have waited several years to release this very personal post. The time just finally seemed right, so here it is:

Few if any things in life are as hard as saying goodbye to your mother. It is not something that may be postponed nor ignored. It is perhaps one of the most important moments in most of our lives, yet we have been poorly prepared for this eventuality. At least, that is what I have come to know.

I have lived a good life. Perhaps it has not been as plentiful as I had once hoped for. And certainly, there could have been more money, more things. But I was the beneficiary of what used to be called a good upbringing, the product of a whole family and of a time when life was occupied more by learning and less by watching others on the evening news. My childhood in the early 1950s was gentle but firm and at the center there was always my mother. This was the era of the stay at home mom and it was from this home that everything was ultimately connected.

It was my mother who took an interest in my education, taught me how to read and how to think critically for myself. It was my mother who always stood behind me, right of wrong, in my attempt to assert myself onto this life. It was she who assured me, it was she who scolded me and it was always my mother who gave me that extra little push that inspires a person in living this life. My mother, above anyone else on earth, was my best friend, although I didn’t come to realize this until I was over forty years old. One late evening in November, 1958 I recall that my mother stopped in my room to say goodnight. There in the still darkness, she shared with me the simple story of my birth. She glanced at her watch in the reflected light from the bathroom and said, “It was just about now, at 10:15 that you were born.” It was a simple statement of fact but such love and a tremendous feeling of sharing accompanied it.

I came late in life to finally understand both of my parents and to appreciate them. It is a path that most of us have traveled. I was headstrong as a youth and it was my mother who let me fall, let me fail so that I might learn life’s lessons on my own. I was often treated in a matter of fact manner as I was indeed expected to fend for myself. When I graduated college, there was no party given to honor the event; it was simply expected of me. My mother did not do things in my stead; rather, she showed me as a teacher how to construct my own solutions. Yet, she was always there when push came to shove to let me know that she was in my corner. This woman was not a saint. She was my mother.

When I insisted on getting married at the age of twenty-one, my mother privately objected to the decision but supported my young bride and me fully. When I became divorced and a single father four years later, it was my mother who provided me with the encouragement to go on with the huge task of raising a child by myself. I never heard, “I told you so.” Silence is golden from our parents too.

After my second marriage many years later, I had finally matured to the point where I could truly appreciate my parents as people. Yes, they were young once themselves with all of the problems of love, despair and struggle that I had experienced. My mother was once very beautiful and a true catch in those years that followed World War II. It is odd that it takes so many decades to view your parents as equals. My mother brought my new wife into her life and treated her like a daughter. These were good times and filled many years with the joy that can only be found in the closeness of family.

As time raced forward with the certain knowledge that all things end, I became more and more involved with my parents’ lives and especially with my mother. We shared a common intellect and curiosity of life and its trivial nuances. I could call her in the middle of the night and ask her the name of an unidentifiable character actor in a 1938 film. She always knew the answer. My mother was a woman of extraordinary intellect and she was extremely well read. And so we shared many good years, full of good feelings and love. I can say with certainty that she and my father both knew that I loved them very much.

Sadly, people get old and so did my mother. Her smoking caught up with her and she had a small heart attack. Spared death, she recovered and stopped smoking only to face the trauma of a broken hip. From there, the road was downhill and she knew it and felt it intensely. She became more melancholy and enjoyed life a great deal less. More and more, my wife and I were present at her house, helping my father take care of her and helping her take care of my father. They were both stubborn and preferred to do things for themselves until at last they could not. These were proud people and it was sad to see them in need of so much help.

As my mother’s health declined, her spirit broke in succession. She wasn’t enjoying life anymore and felt that she had already drawn her full measure from her life. At last, she was diagnosed with multiple myeloma (bone cancer), but given a good prognosis and a life expectancy of perhaps eight more years. It was the summer of 2001 and my mother was 76 years old, young by today’s geriatric standards. I told her that everything would work out and to try to regain a positive outlook. She completed her first series of chemotherapy and we made arrangements for home nursing to help her with the transition. Things were looking up. My wife and I had previously planned a trip to Europe and so with everything in apparent control and with my mother’s blessing, we departed.

After a week and a half in Italy, our phone rang one night with my brother at the other end. Things had turned badly very quickly and my mother was gravely ill. I called the hospital to which she had returned and spoke anxiously to an army of doctors and nurses. I was assured that everything would turn out all right and that although her condition had slipped dramatically, she would soon return to satisfactory health. But I knew my mother, perhaps a bit better than the doctors. I called her and spoke to her directly in honest tones, telling her that even though she was doing better I planned to return home immediately. She said, “I’m sorry I screwed-up your trip.” I assured her that she hadn’t and that I loved her. She said, “I love you too,” and those were the last words I ever heard from her. I took a long walk with my wife into the mountains of Italy’s Tirol and reflected on the past and the days that laid precariously ahead.

And so when I arrived in haste at my mother’s side, the hospital seemed a bit surreal. There were doctors, nurses, and family members all gathered around. The moment had arrived and I was deeply scared. Yet, I was there for one person alone, my mother. She was lying, mostly unconscious, in a hospital bed and undeniably she was dying. Without preparation, I seemed to know what needed doing and what needed to be said. I stroked her head gently and in her last semi-conscious moments of life assured her that it was all right to go; it was time to say goodbye. We said all of the good honest things to one another during life. We had not saved all of it for the end. A small tear rolled down her cheek when she heard my voice and realized her oldest son was with her. Then it was done.

My father used to say that death is for the living to bare and that for the dead there is no pain. I came to know this all too well when it was time to say goodbye.

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Read author Allen E. Rizzi’s latest books available at Amazon.com

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James E. Allen Etchings – Brazilian Builders

For Sale

I am the great-nephew of artist James E. Allen and I have several works his for sale including the following:

Brazilian Builders, (1933) Eight Men On Block and Tackle
19”x12” (16 ¾ x 8 ½ Image) Pencil Signed Etching #59 Mary Ryan Gallery Catalog 1984
Reference: Ryan #59 Condition: Excellent
Inscription: “To Leonard (Schroder?)”

Price: $4,200

This is an original, signed etching by famed artists James E. Allen. It is NOT a copy.

Serious Inquiries Only May Be Directed To This Site

Background

James Edmund Allen was born on February 23, 1894 in the small town of Louisiana, located on the west bank of the Mississippi in Pike County, Missouri. Three years later, he moved with his family to a rural area on Mill Creek just outside Anaconda, Montana. There, his parents William Henry Allen and Annie May Scoggins raised their small family. The family had moved west to join cousins already in the area and involved with mining and timber interests. This was still the untamed west, full of excitement, intrigue and danger.

Growing up in Montana, James became known as “Edd” to his family and friends. With his younger brother, Elmer Leroy Allen (1896-1971), Edd developed a love for the rugged outdoor life in Montana. Edd liked horses and often accompanied his father and brother on hunting trips far into the rugged mountains that surround Anaconda. It was here that Edd first began developing his skills as an artist, concentrating on outdoor scenes portraying men at work. This style, portraying the muscle of America, became the hallmark of his future success as an artist.
James Edmund Allen

Edd worked with one of the Allen owned timber companies in Anaconda as a flume yard operator. The work was hard and dangerous. In his free time, he continued to hone his artistic skills and spend time with his family and friends. A tall, good looking young man, Edd soon fell in love with and married the young Grace Parmelee who was born January 8, 1899. The couple’s first child, Charlotte May was born November 4, 1917. At the outbreak of World War I, Edd joined the United States Armed Forces along with younger brother Elmer, known as Lee. Both brothers arrived in the European theater in 1917 where they served with the American Expeditionary Forces in Germany. Lee served with the Army as a horseman, breaking horses while Edd became a 2nd Lieutenant and flier.

After returning from the war in Europe, Edd resumed his work as an illustrator and artist with renewed vigor, living among other artists in the well-known Interlaken Colony near Asbury Park, New York. His second daughter, Jo Ann, was born November 24, 1923. In 1925, he traveled to Paris where he shared a studio with fellow printmaker Howard Cook. There he experimented with various artistic media, making lithographs and etchings for the first time. Forced by the Depression to return to the United States, he moved back to New York, where he continued to hone Edd in WW I his skills as a printmaker under Joseph Pennell and William Auerbach-Levy. Industrial scenes from the post-depression era that portrayed the muscular images of men working on railroads, buildings, and bridges began to form a large part of his graphic subject matter. Examples include The Builders (etching, 1932), The Accident (etching, 1934), Spider Boy (etching, 1937), The Flats (lithograph, 1937) and Distress (lithograph, 1938).

In the decade from 1930 to 1940, Edd’s work found great commercial success in the pages of many favorite magazines including Collier’s and Good Housekeeping. In addition to illustrations for single articles, Edd’s illustrations would also support a series of stories, as was the case with Emma-Lindsay Squier’s series of pirate stories, which appeared in Good Housekeeping from 1932 to 1935. While his repertoire was versatile and energetic, Edd’s illustrations most always portrayed people of determination, action and strength. In addition to achieving success as a commercial illustrator, Edd also contributed to the short story genre with western tales of life on the ranch.

Despite the demands of a busy life, Edd always remembered his father with much love and affection. During a visit from his father on January 27, 1930, he painted a portrait of the elder Allen as a gift at Dann’s Station, Trenton, New Jersey. In 1939, he penciled an original work as a Christmas present for his father. It shows two bears on a mountain cliff looking down into a valley with a road suggesting progress winding toward them. The lovely work is inscribed simply: “To my straight shooting dad, Christmas 1939.”

Edd died September 9, 1964 at Larchmont in the state of New York where he had lived for many years. He left a legacy of very fine art that is just now beginning to reach its fullest appreciation with the American public. His works are in demand and may be found for sale today in the catalogs of several prominent art dealers. In the spirit that was ingrained in his work, James Edmund Allen lived the American dream of imagination, daring, hard work and success.

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