Dear Friends and Family,
My father, Mario Panagrosso, told me stories of how he’d take the streetcar from Olive Street in New Haven, where he lived, to East Haven, Connecticut. There he’d hunt for mushrooms, which grew in the forest. East Haven, at that time, was mostly farms and forest. At least from the way he’d tell it.
He was just a boy then. He was acquainted with an older man, one of my grandfather’s friends, who would teach him how to pick mushrooms. How to tell the good ones from the poisonous ones, where and how they grow, how to cut them, etc.
One morning I found myself sitting in the Circle Lanes parking lot in East Haven. It was a bright sunshiny morning, so bright the light hurt my eyes. I realized this was because there were no trees, no shade. Then it struck me that once, long ago, this was a forest, perhaps where my father picked mushrooms.
While I love this Circle Lanes sign and its building, with clean sharp edges and beautiful shadows (and I love bowling), at the same time I’m struck by the loss of my dad’s forest.
All those subtle greens and browns, torn down and covered over to make way for these primary colors.
“Circle Lanes Bowling” is the fourth in a series. Please click here to go to last month’s post to see the first three paintings in my “Sign Paintings” series.