Wednesday, April 21, 2010


This swell spot is in a nearby village, just a "stones throw" away from me. We have smallish villages all neighboring one another without actually running into one another. Some villages are planned a little bit more carefully and can accomodate parking along with pedestrians. There are shops, dentists, bakeries, produce markets, pharmacists, hardware stores, coffee houses, a luncheonette or two, a florist and then if one is lucky, a clothier and even a second hand or consignment shop.

Growing up, I have the fondest memories of riding my bike to our village in Louisville, Kentucky. "St.Matthews." There was a fabric store that I loved to go to, the smell of the fabric dyes was so strong, I can remember my eyes burning and loving seeing all the new seasonal prints. I would plan my trip to "Woolworths" carefully. My Mother said one can always find something one needs in our village. We had "Chism's Hardware" and then above "Nanz and Kraft" florist, was my art teacher, Marie-Louise Schrodt. On the corner, was and still is "Top hat" liquor. The organic hippie food shop, "Rainbow Blossom" moved to a larger shop.

Mrs. Schrodt painted scenes of our village. She painted every sign, every puddle, everything as I remembered about my village, the way that it was. She was a realist, a single parent, an incredible teacher and she knew how to plan her palette and her paintings in her village studio. It was there in her studio that I heard stories of her Fashion days, she showed me her illustrations and she was very much apart of my village people. The last time I saw her, she had a showing in the building that used to be my elementary school. She had cancer and I knew it would be the last time I saw her but to me, she will always be one of my village people and I the villager.


Purple Flowers said...

I enjoy the story about your villages both here and your childhood hometown. Isn't it nice to have your start as a Village girl?!
Thank you for that lovely memory of Mrs. Schrodt. She must have been an insightful teacher and a kind human being. I believe we are composed of all that is around us.

pve design said...

Purple Flowers-
Yes, I realize as I grow each day, that we are like flowers, we need sun, a nice breeze, and some water and nourishment to thrive. I have heard that kindness to flowers can go a long way!
Happy planting.

Nadine @ BDG said...

A great character sketch of Mrs. Schrodt.

Debra said...

This writes as if it could be my own small village...minus a cute coffee shop! We always rode our bikes to the Corner Store for penny-candy, then to Adam's for new shorts for the summer- then down a ways to the shoe store for PF-Flyers! Thanks for the memories and your sweet illustration.

North of 25A said...

What a lovely tribute to Mrs. Schrodt - I can imagine a young Patricia listening to her share her gifts...

VictoriaArt said...

What nice memories you have! Such sweet story about your village and your history. I couldn't help but thinking that my post yesterday did help you thinking about it?
I would be glad!
Your teacher sounds wonderful and similarities are obvious!
It is so lovely to have someone like Mrs. Schrodt in ones history...making such a lasting impression and having the greatest influence!


likeschocolate said...

I love small villages too! So cozy and friendly.

pretty pink tulips said...

Village living is the best! And no one captures it as beautifully as you! Have a wonderful day in yours ~ looking forward to showing you mine on Friday!!

Hamptontoes said...

Lovely story.

Susie @ Maddie's Nest said...

Lovely story and I really love the painting as well. Makes me smile.

Kwana said...

What a beautiful story and view of your village growing up.

Joyce said...

OK my friend I think today is going to be one of those emotional days. I woke up thinking of our visitor last night and stopped here first to visit. sniff... Patricia I bet often one special angel dips her wing in some gold dust sprinkling it down your way with a smile of pride as big from California to Kentucky! A beautiful story!!
Thanks for the flash back memories of Woolworths. I remember going there as a wee one opening up my bank right at the counter to buy my mom her gifts. Years later as a teenager in HS we would go to sit at the food counter for lunch. Did your Woolworths have one?
Thank you Patricia for the wonderful post(and your beautiful email). xo...

pve design said...

If only I had you as a teacher to critique my writing style, but alas, I did have some inspiring writers teach me as well as thought of it as just another medium.
Hope you are well.

Love to see your small village. I can picture nothing being locked up and everyone knowing each other on a first name basis.

Teachers and faculty have no idea how they can shape a person and a village.

I bet you will have lots of interesting villages to share with us from your future summer travels.

vicki archer said...

A beautiful tale and illustration to match Patricia, xv.

Karena said...

I would love this setting and being able to go from village to vilaage and exploring the wonderful shops! Mrs Schrodt, what a gem.

Art by Karena

Frau said...

I loved growing up in little towns in NJ, where we are moving to in WNY they have villages and I can't wait. Beautiful artwork and memory of your teacher!

24 Corners said...

How blessed you have been. To grow up in and around these idyllic villages and then to also live near them as an adult is a Mayberry life at it's best...what dreams are made of.
And your dear Mrs. Schrodt...also a blessing. To have had such a teacher, mentor and friend is truly special. What a beautiful tribute to her.
Do you have some of her paintings?

BTW ~ You and your beautiful "lady" inspired my latest post...thank you!
xo Jessica

Whitney and the Preppy Puppy said...

My mom is from St. Matthews. ;-) I sent her your post so she could take a trip down memory lane

annechovie said...

Utterly charming! xx

Sanity Fair said...

This is just darling - it reminds me of the Kate Spade shops (the color). Your paintings capture so much charm!