A pair of 44’s

Posted: February 13, 2012 in Art, Family
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My parents’ house is filled with paintings, prints, saddles, spurs, Indian pottery, and bronzes/sculptures, mostly western in theme. Being there is like living in a homey art museum, where you can sidle up to a black bear mounted on a base (which I’d love to have wired to growl when someone opens the door, ala “FX”), rub your hand lightly down the back of a full-sized wolf at the edge of the dining room, or admire a snow-white Arctic fox, while not being at all cold.

This year they decided to give each of the children, each of their spouses, and the four grandchildren a bronze or sculpture, something that person especially liked and would eventually get. Our younger daughter, the artist and good at figure drawing, for some unknown reason has always liked the bronze called “A Pair of 44’s”. The “44’s” refer obviously to the young woman’s choice of handgun, in holsters on a gun belt around her waist in best Western fashion, and, also obviously, to the size of her chest, only partially covered by her tiny vest. Not a typical child’s choice, but one our daughter has stuck with for all these years.

This sculpture was in the office of my parents’ house in an eclectic collection of art, one piece of which was a painting of Jesus on the opposite wall. Our younger daughter said that the way Jesus’ eyes were facing made it look as though He were averting them from “A Pair of 44’s”, an unintended irony and source of much amusement to all of us.
Now, the woman stands on the left end of the mantel of our rental home, while on the right, a stern-faced stone statue of an Indian brave (my husband’s gift), looks resolutely (stonily??) straight ahead, his gaze avoiding her, the shameless white woman. She, twisted in the opposite direction, glances over her shoulder flirtatiously, (possibly wondering why, besides missing a shirt under that west, she forgot to don jeans beneath her chaps and wishing we’d turn up the heat a bit), not glancing his way either. We didn’t deliberately set them that way; it’s just how they ended up, an accidental comment on what? Morality? Society that way it “used to was”, as we sometimes like to say? Or, perchance, just another unintended irony. But definitely a daily opportunity for a smile!!

  1. Great post, Your parent’s house sound very interesting. 🙂 If you ever get that bear to “growl”, I’d love a picture being post of the first person to walk through the door and be faced with that growl! 🙂 Not sure about the accidental comment, could be any number of reasons! 🙂

  2. christopher otten says:

    Oh! I was wondering what you were referring to. Now I see the pistols. 😉

    PS – Tell Bill I’m praying for him.