Family Pickup
1990, Oil on linen

No longer allowed, this scene is part of our past. People, and children in particular, along with pet dogs, are no longer allowed to ride in the back of pick-up trucks. From my childhood, to about my mid-forties, this was a common sight along roads and highways. The children  and dogs seem to enjoy the ride. The wind, the outdoors, and passing scenery was always an excitement- a kind of freedom and enjoyment seemed to come forth naturally from this common practice. It was a major means of travel for poorer people, especially migrants. Parents, usually the drivers, were grim faced, especially on the warm days when they had to leave the windows open. But kids would often be laughing and smiling, holding on to their pets. Riding on the cushiony backseats of our parent’s sedans, we envied these adventurous tailgaters- out in the open air, living in a real outdoors, enjoying the passing scene and the cooling wind. These kids never looked sad. We weren’t sad either, only a little envious. These were the last covered wagons.”