Sunday, October 22, 2017

My Childhhood Friend Colleen And Paintings by Her Dad, Principal Tom Collins

When Lori and I were planning our trip this past May, I had contacted a dear childhood friend, in the hopes that we might be able to meet up while Lori and I were in the area. Colleen and I hadn't seen each other since her family moved away the summer before our 7th grade year.
Not only did we get to go see her, but she and her "significant other" Bruce even invited us to stay overnight in their lovely home!
How often do you get to see somebody whom you have not laid eyes on in close to 50 years?
I have tears in my eyes as I write this - you cannot even begin to imagine how happy I was to see her again!
I put together this assortment of Colleen's school photos, which I had save over the years. ( I mean, of COURSE I did!)
Her father was the principal at our elementary school, Gold Oak Union in Placerville for a number of years, and, until I saw these paintings hanging in her home, I had been unaware that he was also a artist.
The first one I'm sharing in today's post might be my favorite, because it brought to mind Heidi's Grandfather's cabin from the Johanna Spyri classic, complete with goats:
Here is a photo of the Gold Oak Faculty, pictured in our old elementary school yearbook  from 1966:
And I took this photo of a portrait from when Tom Collins was in the Navy, and you can also see the small picture of he and Colleen together (taken around 2007) tucked into the bottom of the frame.
And here are a few more of his lovely paintings:
I walked around their house snapping pictures, as you may have guessed!
So pretty!
I love this red barn in the snow:
And this is a beautiful scene:
I'm sorry to say that Colleen's mother Nidabelle passed away in 2004, and her father Tom died in 2009.
I'd have loved to have had the chance to see both of them again, had that been possible.
 I found out something surprising during our visit that I had never known.
The Collins family had actually lived in THIS area prior to moving to Placerville, and Mr. Collins had been the principal at Jamestown Elementary for two years! That school is less than five miles from where I live now.
I realized, after finding that out, that Colleen's sister Ruth and my friend Mallory who owns The Emporium, a wonderful antiques store in Jamestown would have been in the same class, so I asked Mallory later if she remembered Ruth, and she did - and Mr. Collins, as well!
Now, it really IS a small world, isn't it?
I have a few more photos to share - so please come back tomorrow for part two!

1 comment:

Tina Dawn said...

Wonderful post and paintings. We had a lot of good childhood friends who moved away. I am so glad you got to see each other again and are friends still! I remember going to both their homes in Placerville for reasons unknown, but didn't remember the art. Love T