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Saturday, July 28, 2012

Childhood Of The Art Historian, parts 416 - 419

Richard Britell

416. "Yes" Buboni exclaimed, The Doctor pronounced that I had the finest color acuity he had ever seen. There was no talk of Rheumatic Fever, or anything like that, just 'finest acuity.'  Finally there was something about myself that was different  in a good way. This, I thought, was the key to my personality and my future. My identity must be somehow intertwined with looking at various colors, but what sort of job that was I had no idea.

417. You would think that I would have hit upon the idea of being an artist, if I had remarkable color acuity, but there you are totally wrong. I did not come from the sort of family in which the idea of being an artist, or a writer, or a musician ever came up, and if it did it would have been greeted with derision. No, the Great Depression was not a time that made parents long for their children to become poets, composers and painters.

418. My mother was the secretary to the vice principal in charge of discipline at the high school and so all day long she had to tell students to "Sit over there" while they waited to be disciplined by Mr. Bell. Her view of the world was very restricted and consisted of an image of a troupe of boys on their way to perdition. Her only hope was that my brother and I would make it through high school and get a good job working at the Grand Union Supermarket.

419. My mother was aware that there were other jobs than working in the supermarket, but hers was a world of class divisions, and the jobs the college kids got were for the rich who, she said, "Talked with a hot potato in their mouth."

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