Monday, May 21, 2012

A weekend with Uncle Johnny

This weekend we had the intense pleasure of Uncle Johnny coming down from New York for a visit. Uncle Johnny comes down pretty frequently, and helps me with stuff around the house, relaxes, babysits and plays with my niece Ursula, hooks me up with cool books about astronomy and shipwrecks, and puts up with the dogs. 


Outwardly, Johnny grumbles about the dogs but secretly I think he loves them. 

They sure love him. Ever since I was a kid and Johnny was babysitting me, the family dog has always loved Johnny all through his grumbling and grousing.


In fact, there's never been a dog that didn't love Johnny, to my knowledge. Johnny is one of those figures loved by kids and dogs everywhere. 


Johnny reminded me this weekend that he's 84 years old. 

Eighty four and he still comes down every few weekends by Greyhound bus from New York to hang out with his wacky Takoma Park family. 

Johnny's studying the art of watercolor through classes he took at the senior center where he lives in New York, and books he got from the library. 

I think he's doing an incredible job!

This weekend, he got to meet Collette. 

And Collette got to meet him, and Ursula, and Genghis, and my sister. 

She and my sister did a bit more than just meet. 

After a wild play session with Genghis, Collette was ready for some snuggles and some making out. 


It could have also been that after a while, Genghis started making her a little nervous.

Fortunately, Uncle Johnny was there to provide support. 

Uncle Johnny, unheralded friend of the furred people, benign ruler of all your familiars. All paws in the air! We salute you!


  1. What a great visit! You're right, they should do love him. His art is fantastic also!

  2. Your Uncle Johnny is doing a great job with the painting!

    My grandfather, when we got Elka, said things like "what do you want to get a dog for?" and talked about how having a dog limits your ability to travel. Then, when I visit with her, he's a complete fool for it. It's pretty funny, and cute.

  3. Hi Kirsten, your Uncle Johnny is a cool dude. He has a kind face and the gentleness of a comforting hand. My dad has a very old professor friend that he tries to see every year, my dad thinks he's 92 and your Uncle Johnny reminds my dad of his friend. Oh yes, your Uncle Johnny is very talented. Controlling the mix of water and paint in watercolors and painting a beautiful picture at the same time, is a huge challenge. Uncle Johnny is doing a pretty darn good job.

  4. You're so lucky to have Uncle Johnny in your life!!

  5. This is the sweetest post. Uncle Johnny is a treasure and how wonderful you see that. His paintings blow my mind! They are fabulous!

  6. You're so fortunate to have family that loves you so much. Uncle Johnny looks like he's the "fun" uncle.

    And the watercolors are beautiful. Any chance of commissioning one of your own?

  7. Uncle Johnny sounds like a wonderful and cherished member of your family. You're very lucky to have such a great uncle!

  8. he looks like an awesome uncle and a very sweet man!

  9. What a sweet post! Your Uncle Johnny seems like a great man and so much fun! And he certainly looks younger than 84. How wonderful to have such loving family around you!

    Love all the photos, especially the first few with your Uncle and the dogs. Very sweet. And your Uncle's art work is great. What a talent! The dog painting is so expressive. Thank you for sharing a lovely piece of your family.

    K and Suka

  10. Those pics of Uncle Johnny with Collette and Fozzie are priceless. They tell such a good story! Your family look really nice, Kirsten. But who's Genghis??? :)

    Like your other readers, I think Uncle Johnny's paintings are beautiful. I love the lightness of the lady and the horse, and the face on the Bassett. Your uncle is an inspiration to be still learning and experimenting at his grand age. Well done, Family Kirsten! :) x

  11. What a great guy your Uncle Johnny is! Very talented too! I love his pictures especially the one that looks like a basset! :)

  12. Uncle Johnny is a gem - and so is his art! What wonderful family photos, canine and human. Sounds like my dad :).

  13. That is just lovely Kirsten!

  14. I love how Uncle Johnny is taking the time to play with the dogs like my grandfather used to play with his grandchildren. He sounds like a fascinating man.

  15. I agree that his watercolor work looks awesome! Uncle Johnny looks like the kind of man that all people and dogs couldn't resist loving.

  16. Those water colours are great! Shows you're never too old to learn, eh?


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