Last night my mom and I went to the ballet, Carmen, put on by the St. Petersburg Ballet Company. It was very interesting... I had no idea of what the story was about and I was expecting a classical ballet. It wasn't classical at all...very interpretive with new-age music and lighting. So, I was a little dissapointed at first, but got over that real quick because it was so fun to watch. It was a little scandalous, too!! It's been a good decade since I took a ballet class :( yet, ballet is something I am passionate about! I think it is such a gorgeous form of expression!

My grandfather really helped me develop that passion while I was studying French Classical Ballet. He had also studied in college. One year for my birthday, I got a card from him with a picture of a Degas ballerina on it and on the inside he wrote me a message in French (he spoke 7 languages) expressing his love and then added that I was pretty enough to be painted by Degas... I still have the card in my cedar chest. I miss him. He was an incredible man.

When I was in the 4th and 5th grades, he used to pick me up at 6:00 am every Monday, Wednesday and Friday and take me to violin lessons at the Art Center. He would teach bass upstairs and I would go downstairs to the violin room. In my jewelry box I have a page ripped out from my then-journal that talks about the ride home on that particular day. He said to me, "Carly, there is music and beauty in everything. You just have to look for it." He was so dedicated to his own passions and was very willing to be able to share them.

I think it is because of him I love to read so much! His library was full ceiling to floor of books. I remember there was a musty smell in that room. Some of the books were really, really old. I have a few of his books. I especially like the ones with his handwritting in the margins.

Well, I don't know where that Ode to Grandpa Bob came from, but I love remembering him. I love all that he taught me about art, culture, music, ballet, reading....this list goes on and on. He is so special to me and I can't wait to see him again.


Camie said...

He sounds like a very passionate and incredible man. I am glad he was able to pass it on to you.

I LOVE that painting.

Heidi said...

So Carly, I read your blog often. I too took violin at the Art Center in the mornings. I bet we went their together. I started in 6th grade & continued until I was a sophmore. I also love that particular painting. I got to see one of the originals in Paris. Your grandpa really sounds like a neat man.

patrick & carly said...

Heidi, we probably were there at the same time! I stopped taking violin lessons in 6th grade when I started playing the flute. The Degas room at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in NY, was my favorite! There were so many of his paintings, sketches and sculptures. And yes, he was an a very cool guy!

Becky, yep said...

I am so glad you are a bloggin'! I love getting to know you!

You are lucky to have someone like your grandfather in your life!
(He still is, so I'm not using past tense)

Potter Family said...

I laid awake last night thinking about the kind of grandparent I want to be. How lucky we are to have had Grandpa Bob in our lives. As a father-in-law he made me feel so special. I know he had a great impact on all of his grandchildren. His children are pretty incredible people too!!! Thanks for the reminder of a great man.