One of the oldest family operated restaurant-bar combinations in Elkhart, Indiana was Pete’s Simonton Lake Tavern. Located on the east side of State Road 19 (Cassopolis St.) Pete’s was open 7 days per week, serving appetizers, Dinners, Baskets, Soups, Salads, Pizza and Sandwiches. Rib-eye and chopped Steaks, Hamburgers, Italian Spaghetti & Meatballs, Chicken, Chicken wings and several Seafood plates were among the favorites.
Pete’s was a local favorite for years, so I had to capture it in one of my paintings. It is now called “Re-Pete’s” under new ownership as of 2018.
I hope my painting will keep Pete’s image of one Elkhart’s historic places remembered for years to come.
I previously mentioned an old farm house in the area of Pine Mountain, Georgia that had been turned into a so called antique shop. Most of everything was old, but not very collectible. This chair was sitting on the back porch of that old house. I’m sure that old wicker chair overheard a lot of interesting stories in it’s time, but as the weather and age of the chair overwhelmed its usefulness, it has come to its end. Thus, the name “Wicker’s End”. Other paintings that were done, because of that old store, were “The Corner Shelf“, “The Lantern” and the “Milk Can“. This painting has always been one of my favorites.
I have painted several fire related paintings, which make up my fireman set. In choosing a fire station, my first choice was my most familiar. I grew up in Cassopolis, Michigan until was 10 years old. Living in an upstairs apartment less than one block from the volunteer fire department, I became familiar to the sound of the siren that alerts everyone when they are needed. It was not much of a fancy fire station, but it was ours. As a young boy, I was always fascinated by the water tower that sat behind the station. This painting was one of my early paintings, so you can see the difference in my artistic talents from then.
One of my favorite northern art festivals was located in Wyandotte, Michigan. I always tried to have something for the locals to identify with from their area. I couldn’t resist taking some pictures, when I saw Carter’s Coney Island at 2908 Fort Street, in Lincoln Park, Michigan, which was not too far away from the festival.
When you enter through the door of Carter’s, you step back in time 70 years and witness the two horseshoe shaped counters. Besides an early morning breakfast and hot coffee, you hear all the local conversation from the area happenings.
The food is just like the burger joint. They make old school burgers and fries, or you can have grilled slider, chili or hot dogs, however you like. How about Biscuits and gravy or Ham & Bean soup, made with big chunks of ham.
The painting takes you back seventy years on the outside, so you can imagine what you will find on the inside.
BBF first opened in Columbus, Ohio in 1961 competing with the McDonald’s fast food chain. They eventually opened 48 BBF restaurants in Ohio West Virginia and Kentucky before it was sold in 1970 to Bordon, Inc. The revolving neon Rotospheres on top of their sign always fascinated me and I’m sure it helped attract business. I painted the BBF to accept the sign, as well as the nostalgic history of one of the 15 cent hamburger pioneers. I also included a few classic cars of the time to add to the nostalgia.
24” x 36” ………. $1,295.00 Original Painting on stretched canvas
When I lived in Georgia, I became more involved with Art Festivals around the area in the mid-1980s. While driving down a road outside Cartersville, on Sugar Valley Road, I saw a gas pump that was on a farm, apparently used for the owner’s equipment. These paintings were all variations of the same pump.
This painting was the first in a series of gas pumps I painted during that time. A few other pumps were Shell, Gulf,Mobile, Marathon and Sinclair.
In 1986, during one of my Art Festivals, I had exhibited some of my past work in a photograph book, which included some commission work that I had done. Billy Neal, a local resident, owned a gas station in Cartersville, GA. His wife saw a painting of a Texaco gas pump hanging in my booth and purchased it for her husband as a gift.
Since she had seen some of my local paintings that I had done for other people in my book, asked if I would paint a picture of Billy’s Texaco station in Cartersville, GA., I was delighted to be able to add another local painting to my photograph book, which led to other commissioned paintings.
While we had finished our southern and east coast art tour, we thought we would take a break and take a short vacation. Since we hadn’t seen the states in the New England area, we decided to take a trip to Maine. Along the way, we took a lot of pictures, which I have painted a few of them. I struck gold in Bar Harbor, Maine when I saw J H Butterfield and the Christmas Spirit Shop on the main street of the small village. The Christmas Spirit Shop painting was on the cover of Sunshine Artist magazine for the December issue in 1999. The J H Butterfield store became one of my favorite paintings. You don’t see stores like this anymore. I was fascinated by the history of the store, as it changed to making wreaths in the off season, shipping them all over the country and then catering to the locals and tourism during the peak season.
While at Prater’s Mill Festival in Dalton, Georgia, it was raining quite hard, so I left the painting in the trailer, but I had some prints at my display. A lady from Chattanooga, TN stopped at the booth and fell in love with the print, but asked if I had the original painting. A long story short, I made a trip to the trailer and she purchased the painting.