Monday, October 30, 2017

"This one's an artist!"

My continuing family saga

1967 was the year of Canada's 100th Birthday was the year my brother Clint joined the Royal Canadian Navy,
the year my sister Ann's friend Maria started to look at Clint with a twinkle in her eye
...not to mention that it was also the year I left home for the third and final time.

And then...
in 1968, my family grew!

The expectant father was beside himself with fear. Anything could (and often did) happen to women giving birth in the 1960s.
He was aghast!
My parents were planning their retirement, and soon there would be an addition to our family.
Mom was thrilled. She referred to the baby as Robbie even before he was born, but Dad would storm out of the house saying, "I don't know anyone who's having a baby!"
Poor Dad.
White Rock, British Columbia
He couldn't contemplate life without his sweetheart.
My mother was soon taken from the oceanfront suburb of White Rock to Vancouver General Hospital for strict observation, and stayed there until it was judged safe for a caesarean-section.
She thrived, and survived...and so did my new little brother: Robert Edward Davies, born March 7, 1968.
I was living in the city, and had to pass near the hospital on my way home from work. I'd stop most days to visit Mom in the most-difficult-pregnancies ward: a bright, warm, sunny room housing three young women—and my mother.
They were all there for quite a while, under the strict observation of multiple nurses and doctors, for a variety of reasons...and no wonder: one of the young women had triplets. Triplets! She was my age, triplets the same age as my new brother. I often thought of her as Rob was growing up: three infants, three toddlers, three mind boggled.
Dad was happy to turn his attention to new-fatherhood once he knew Mom was healthy and happy. Some of their friends, however, asked what would become of their retirement.
"We'll take him with us," he replied.
Fast forward to Robbie sitting in a high chair at the age of two. He started walking very early because he had so little weight to carry, but still used a high chair. He was very bright: easily recognizing the sounds of our parents' favourite musicians. His favourite was Louis Armstrong.
San Felipe, where Mom, Dad and
Rob wintered for many years
One day, Mom stepped out of the room for some reason, and quickly returned, but not before that little guy had turned himself around in his high chair, taken a piece of chalk in his hand and, along the bottom of her grocery-list blackboard, made a series of straight vertical lines about an inch high.
Mom was more amazed than worried. Sure, he hadn't turned around in his chair before, and he certainly hadn't tried to use a piece of chalk, but...
"What's that, Robbie?" Mom asked.
"Grass," he replied.
Mom phoned Dad at the family printing shop. "Bring paper," she said. "This one's an artist."
And Rob Davies was, indeed, an artist, and so he has been ever since: in kindergarten in our parents' chosen winter home of San Felipe, on Mexico's Baja Peninsula; in school in White Rock, BC; in art school in Vancouver, BC; at work in Vancouver, California and Germany, and now with his partners at Atomic Cartoons in Vancouver, B.C.
Rob, younger then than now
Atomic's signature cartoon is Atomic Betty. Betty was a young schoolgirl with red hair and superpowers, who lived in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan, and fought evil whenever necessary.



Sallie (FullTime-Life) said...

Such a good story! Your baby brother was quite talented from the beginning as well as being a cosmopolitan traveler as a toddler -- I'll have to go look at Atomic Betty!

Rajesh said...

Wonderfully detailed.

Yamini MacLean said...

Hari OM
It's not that often that talent shown early fully manifests and continues as the key component of life. A true gift, you Rob! YAM xx

Lady Fi said...

I do so enjoy reading about your memories.

Lea said...

A beautiful family story!
Have a great day!

carol l mckenna said...

What a full and fun life you have had and had ~ thanks for sharing ~ ^_^

love and light
A ShutterBug Explores
aka (A Creative Harbor)

Jenn Jilks said...

It's wonderful reading about your family!
A fine brother! Mine, while adopted as I am, is a bit flaky.

Ruth Rieckehoff said...

Enjoyed reading your story! It has to be wonderful to have somebody so bright on the family.

NatureFootstep said...

thanks for sharing your life :)

Al said...

It's nice to have family memories like that.

Pat @ Mille Fiori Favoriti said...

I have a younger brother born 9 years after me, when my Mother was in her 40's, and it was the early 60's, so I can relate so well with your story! My brother became an engineer--my mother always felt he was the smartest of all her I looked at your brother's Atomic Betty cartoon--so fun!

Mara said...

It reminds me of some in my family who were expecting a baby in 1968. She was quite big, but nothing really special. And then, when she was giving birth, the doctor who had come to their home to help (it was normal to give birth at home) said: better get some more nappies, there's another one coming! Twins it was! Nobody knew, since nobody had done any checks of the sort they do nowadays.

Glad both your mum and your baby brother were okay though. And that baby brother looks cute.

Gattina said...

Wow what an age difference between you and your brother ! Nice that you write your family story I have and do it still but there are all posts scattered over my blog from 2007 on ! Once I have to put the important once together so Toby can read that I am another person than what I am through his father's eyes !

Sallie (FullTime-Life) said...

Back to say 'hi' again and tell you that I followed the link to 'Atomic Betty' -- saw your brother's name listed and it was almost like running into someone famous in real life ;>)..... very cool. Thanks for your sweet comments on mine -- we will be traveling for a month starting next weekend, so I am just catching up with all my favorite bloggers in advance!!

Powell River Books said...

I wonder what my life would have been like if I had a brother or sister. Maybe I wouldn't be so spoiled (but Wayne doesn't seem to mind). - Margy

A Quiet Corner said...

Life is filled with such charming stories. This is one!...:)JP

Phil Slade said...

Hi Kay. That's a good story about the chalk and your mom's reaction. I wonder if she did really twig about little bro's early artistic ability or if she steered him that way from an early age?

It's raining here again this morning and I have to drive into Knott End to but some fish. Chores!

Best from Sue and me.