Classic Amy Joanne

All Things Art & Home

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My Nana and Pappy

Lettie Viola and Walter Curtis Garber of Grier City, Barnesville, Pennsylvania

  They didn’t have much, but they had everything.

6 kids ~ 11 grandkids

They  loved life and family was everything.


Thinking of my Pap, the person and the painter.

He loved family, visited often, whistled like a bird, drank strong coffee, liked red pepper flakes on his spaghetti, read the newspaper, watched Tarzan, had a contagious laugh, enjoyed traveling and history, was a Deacon at Church, ate apple butter jelly bread, danced, sang songs to us, told stories, provided for his family, and drove a blue van full of paint splatter and supplies.

By trade he was a Painter and Wall Paper Hanger.

As a young girl, while visiting my grandparents…..I would page thru his wallpaper books and watch him stir paint on the back porch steps, to prepare for work ~ curious even then, picking out what I liked and didn’t in wallpaper.  Looking back thru different (older) eyes….God was laying the footwork for my journey.

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One of the treasures we still have from those times is his receipt paper…Walter C Garber Dr, Painting and Paperhanging, Interior Decorating. 

The glasses are his….. all speckled with paint, Just love that.

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His brand was Dutch Boy.  He had a talent for mixing paint for his clients, the colors were not as abundant at this time so mixing was necessary.  Their own home was painted with all the leftovers!

His blue van was one of those with a side door and a step pushed out when opened ….it was covered with paint splatter, had a large console between the 2 front seats and had an awesome sound,  I can hear it today if I close my eyes and imagine.

My cousins and I  liked to sneak down to their basement thru the laundry chute.  I am sure my cousins just liked to go thru the chute for fun……but I can remember the  workbench and paint cans lined up.  My Nana would ‘Gasp if she knew….to us their place was magical to play in.

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That’s my Pap in the center with his painting work cloths on….I am not sure whom the other 2 men are…but love this photo.  Why did they stop to pose for a picture?  One in a three piece suit, one is casual and my Pap in Painters pants…..?

  He not only was a Painter by trade but painted ‘paintings’ as well….There was a  painting of their home that was framed in wood and a mural on their bedroom wall of Niagara Falls.  I am sure these were stolen moments in time for him and his paintbrush.

The home has changed ownership several items, but have heard the painting is still there and appreciated.

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Even though he probably painted this with mixes of leftover household paint and brushes…the details are thought out and fun.  The cap on the kid, the woman with her arms up to see better, the shadows they cast, the bend in the wire of the fencing and the water lines.  I can only imagine him painting it…..

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He passed in 1984 at 69.   He would have loved all there is today to do and learn in Art….I sometimes picture him next to me in classes with his speckled glasses, sharing the Artful Journey.  I am sure we will paint together when we meet again.

The image below proudly hangs in my home today.  It was a hand painted gift from a family friend to them on their 40th Anniversary ~ the painting was taken from a photo of their wedding day.

Art has always been a part of our lives, even when we didn’t realize it.


I would hope that when I desire possessions, that I remember him…a man that loved life despite what he did or didn’t have.  He just loved his family and friends and that was all he needed….and every once in while ~ have time to sneak away to paint a picture with only the supplies on hand.  He was a rich man…..

Looking back I see people and places and things that laid the path for me to take.  I didn’t know it then paging thru those wallpaper books….but I see it now!  Do you look back and remember and imagine and recognize the path laid out for you?

…fond memories, love to revisit.



Coming Next to the Blog ~ ‘A Slice of Happy’ Classic Chalk Art How-To, Intro to New Book with Creative Friends including Sculpted Tie-On Bonus, Autumn Snack Chalkboard Cones, When is it Enough?

10 thoughts on “Thinking of My Pap

  1. Pingback: The Hallway
  2. Donna Enoch says:

    Those are wonderful memories Amy . He was a very talented painter as are you . Your destiny was definitely in the genes all along .

    1. He was truly one of a kind….thank you!

  3. Such fond memories of your Pap, you most certainly have inherited his creative talent Amy

    1. Thank you Effie! I love to visit my family thru my memories, such good times!

      1. Yeah I know what you mean Amy, very often I find myself “lost in time”- a memory of a loved one can bring us joy… puts a smile on my face 🙂

  4. Arianna Box says:

    This was such a beautiful story and I thank you for sharing it with us. He was certainly a man to be proud of. I’m a firm believer that artistic ability of any kind is passed down through the genes. I especially enjoyed your last question because it made me take a step back in time and to think of my past family and what I was gifted with through them.

    1. Always fun to revisit family thru memories….Thank you for your kind words!

  5. Sharon says:

    Beautiful memories, Amy. Your Pap was definitely your inspiration. ❤️

    1. Thank You Sharon, I think of him often!

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