In March I lost one of my oldest & dearest friends, Franciska Diemont. She started feeling ill in December and was in and out of hospitals for a few months. I feel blessed that I lived close enough to spend time with her, especially her last week. Frannie, Susan, Irma and I formed a gang of 4 called "FIPS" and we celebrated each other's birthdays and Holiday tea every year. We gave up giving presents several years ago and decided that we would spend time with each other on our birthdays. This included making art in my studio, walking around a neighborhood, going to the Nutcracker, going to Mrs Grossman for a tour/sticker-buying or other fun activities. In December, we had a tradition of having a luxurious Japanese lunch, then walking around downtown to look at all the Christmas decorations and buy ornaments. Then in the late afternoon, we had a sumptuous tea at either the St. Francis, Sheraton Palace or the Ritz. We also reviewed last year's New Year Resolutions and wrote down the coming year's resolutions. True to our friendship, Irma, Susan and I spent time together with Frannie during her last month. Frannie was also one of my letter-writing, card-creating friends. I found this undated Thanksgiving card painted by her. It reflects her giggly sense of humor perfectly.
Derrick Dodson reminded me that baseball season starts this week. Lefty Grove played for the Philadelphia Athletics back in 1931. Philadelphia Athletics moved to Kansas City in 1955, then to Oakland in 1968. I am a huge Oakland A's fan and Jacqueline was a Philly fan. We co-hosted Diamondposte, a baseball blog, as well as Little Red. Thanks Derrick for this wonderful baseball card! I am off to see the pre-season match up of the A's vs Giants tonite.
In 2013, it's the year of the black water snake. According to my readings, a snake in the house means your family won't run out of food. The snake is calm and contemplative, and attractive to those of us whose emotions run wild. In Western culture, the snake is associated with Medusa, primordial life force, rebirth (shedding of skin), protector, healer, phallus, back stabber, snitch, informer, poseur...
Mail me a postcard on your interpretation of this slithering creature. I await your postcard: Altered, unaltered or original mail art. Send to P. Otani, P.O. Box 31112, San Francisco, CA 94131.