An Ode to Jamie Wyeth, St. Gretta, and St. Alex

The Mom Person went off this weekend to spend some time with one of her Very Special Friends. I didn’t get to go, but it seems that she had a great time. They became friends a very long time ago when they each had a different dog than they have now. The Mom Person had a black Lab — St. Gretta. Kay had a Great Pyrenees that I’m guessing was a saint as well. His name was Alex. And the 4 of them spent a lot of time together visiting hospitals and such, doing Animal Assisted Therapy and doing their part to make the world a little bit better for lots of kids.

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The Mom Person and Kay have a mutual admiration for the Wyeth family of artists. N.C., Andrew, and Jamie. And this weekend Kay gave the Mom Person a treasure of a book that is illustrated by Jamie Wyeth. The book is titled Sammy in the Sky, and is written by Barbara Walsh. It was published in 2011 by Candlewick Press.

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It is a love story between a dog and his girl. “My dad said Sammy was the best hound dog in the whole world. All I knew was that I loved Sammy and Sammy loved me.” But dogs don’t live as long as little girls and when Sammy’s life on earth comes to an end, the girl and her family find a way to celebrate the joy that was Sammy.  This is a BooHoo kind of story. My Mom Person was shedding a lot of tears. Ultimately that’s what loving a dog is all about. Tears of joy, tears of triumph, tears of frustration, tears of sadness. And lots of laughter to go along with the tears. We dogs have pretty strong spirits. The Mom Person still sees St Gretta around sometimes and I know that when I leave this world I really won’t be gone.

For me, this book was all about smiles. Sammy had a great family who loved and cherished him for the dog that he was. And they kept that love strong even after he was gone. What more could a dog ask for?

Death is not a happy topic of conversation, but it is a part of everyone’s life. Ms. Walsh has created a lovely story of a blissful relationship between a girl and a dog. And Mr. Wyeth’s paintings are a perfect fit. Sammy in the Sky is a beautiful celebration of a super dog. It is truly a treasure book. You should check it out.

I’m in a Warhol state of mind —

The last few days have been all about Andy Warhol for me. He’s been everywhere! Stalking me or something. Mrs. B, the Super Woman Reading Teacher, shared a book called Uncle Andy’s by Andy Warhol’s nephew James Warhola.

The book was published in 2003 by G.P. Putnam’s Sons. It is written and illustrated by James Warhola and is a story about a trip that his family took in 1962 to visit his Uncle Andy in New York City.

James’ father Paul was a junk man. That was his real business. He collected it and sorted it and made interesting things with it. He and his wife, Ann, lived way out in the country with their 7 children and junk all around. A truly glorious life for those kids!

Sometimes they made trips into NYC to visit Paul’s brother Andy who was a famous artist. They took junk to him so that he could make things with it. Uncle Andy lived in a fantastical house with their grandmother, Bubba. Andy was always painting and making important art stuff out of odd things. He had 25 cats, all named Sam! And he went to late night parties and he wore wigs. He had all kinds of wigs and gave the old ones to James’ dad so that the kids could all play with them!

The pictures in this book are fantastical as well. Lots of details that make the Warhola world spring to life. I would have liked to live with them!

From his father and his famous uncle, James learned that “real art knows no boundaries” and that “the most ordinary of everyday things can inspire a work of art.”

What a great thing to learn!

I loved this book! It was funny and inspiring and a very good read!

But I told you that Mr. Warhol has been following me around. This book was not my only encounter with the great artist!

Over the weekend the Mom Person and the Big Guy Who Keeps the Treats went to a museum to see an art exhibit featuring the Wyeths, N. C., Andrew, and Jamie. ( Some more famous artists!) Well, it turns out that Jamie was friends with Mr. Warhol! And at that exhibit was a painting that Mr. Jamie Wyeth had done of Mr. Andy Warhol!

And then when she came home she had this comic strip in her mailbox —

Now is that too crazy or what?!

I don’t know if I care for Mr Warhol’s art or not. It is famous stuff so it must be good. But I think I like his nephew’s art better!

You should check out Uncle Andy’s! I think you will be inspired! And then check out some of James Warhola’s other work as well!