All I could think of was “she can run, but she can’t throw.”
Well, yes, I could.
I could throw as well as my older brother; I could run and hit, too, but in those days, my skills weren’t enough to get me a slot on the Little League team—girls weren’t allowed to play organized baseball in the 1950s. The officials said it had something to do with protecting my “delicate internal organs,” but I suspect it was really about how I could play better than most boys at that age.
Ah, but I digress.
Back in the sixth or seventh grade, I really could throw a baseball, but I couldn’t throw a pot.
Art class was a trial for me—couldn’t draw, couldn’t make anything more than stick figures or rough facsimiles of flowers in vases; couldn’t sketch a house with curtains in the windows; couldn’t paint a fat
beside her red barn.
I managed, though, to push out three items of fired pottery that remained in my parents’ houses for close to fifty years before coming to mine. I nearly chucked all three of ‘em, but found that I couldn’t do it.
The top photo is of something (we were never quite sure what it was supposed to be): a sugar dish? an odd container for a single flower bud? Maybe it was an ashtray.
I have no idea, but the shape of it appeals to me; I like the curve in its lines, the roundness of it.
And this one, which I think is a penguin, although I can’t be certain. I know for sure that I made it, for it has my initials (DHG) on the bottom. I have a vague recollection of a round table full of little birds, different colors and sizes, in the art room in my middle school. I remember, too, the fact that we couldn’t glaze the entire piece or it might stick to the bottom of the kiln—a concept that fascinated me for some reason.
This last piece—my piece de resistance—is a whisker-saver, a little trinket that my art teacher told us about. She was of Asian descent, and told us all that saving cat whiskers was certain good luck, and that there was a special item to store them in. We rolled three separate tubes, stuck them together with a little slip and pulled the bottoms into this trunk-like base.
I actually had about five or six found whiskers in it, and had them all for a good long time, until I cleaning lady I had (when I had my hip replaced and couldn’t do housework for a couple of months) knocked it to the floor and never saw the whiskers...they were probably sucked up in the Electrolux.