Wooden grain elevators still dot the prairie landscape of Montana, the Dakotas, and Canada.
An old grain elevator in Montana is the reference for this painting. My father told me that at harvest time, it was often hard for him to get all the freight cars they needed for the Great Northern to move the grain, as the cars from Montana where it is dry, were often kept by the southern lines where cars rot. The southern rail lines would send back cars that were not always in good shape.
My dad was devoted to his family first, and his job as the support of his family. He and my mother were home bodies. When he was not at work, he was with the family. My parents did not have parties or go to parties or spend time away from us. Instead, we would go on long drives in good weather, road trips adventuring all over Montana. We would fish, pan for gold, look for sapphires and fossils, explore old ghost towns and cemeteries, visit relatives, camp and tour Yellowstone and Glacier, and generally be out enjoying and discovering things in this big state.
The last Father’s Day I could actually wish him a happy day was in 1979. This day is still his day, even though he is no longer here for me to hug.
UPDATE April 8, 2013
In doing a google image search of my work today, I noticed this forgotten post of an unfinished painting of my father. Here is an image of the finished painting.