The amazing story of two 40-something women on the path to matrimonial bliss

It just keeps getting better...

Sunday, March 6, 2011

My Late Grandfather's Tub

This is NOT my late grandfather, but the also-deceased Robert Rauschenberg--a prominent and influential 20th century American artist.  Same generation, same first name, same age, different tubs...

Last night, Teri and I went with my mom and my sister to the University Theatre (at the University of Oregon) to see a production of bobrauschenbergamerica, a play written by Charles L. Mee and first produced in 2001.  My younger sister has just gone back to school as a Graduate Teaching Fellow in the Theatre Arts department--an accomplished actor in the "real world" she is working toward a PhD in Theatre and plans to morph into a professor for the second half of her life.  While she didn't help with this production, the fact that she is in the department contributed to the fact that the integral claw foot tub in this production, came from Tuff's (my grandfather) cabin.
For a play that well-represents an artist who well-represented the speeding up of the 20th century, I came away feeling as though I had just experienced a coked-up Norman Rockwell vision. Watching young student actors climb in and out of my grandfather's tub added a layer to the play unique to me but so perfectly fitting with the themes and textures of the work of both the playwright and the artist who inspired the play.

Things.  Items.  Objects. Images. History. Memories. My grandfather died in 2008--moments after my daughter Lilly and I left him in a hospital room.  I think about him almost every day and miss him almost as often.  Teri has only heard stories, seen photos and video instead of actually meeting him, since she sauntered into my life about five months after Tuff's death.  This IS my grandfather and it seemed absolutely fitting to me that a play about the intangible creation of the myth and idea of "American" would have a historical piece of him rolling through it.

1 comment:

  1. Great to see this about the tub! Who knew?! FYI, my review: (I just posted a comment there linking back here — I think it's waiting to be approved.) Hm, maybe your sister has a story that needs to turn into an article ... ;)