Wednesday, December 19, 2018

My first Christmas away from home

Watercolour and oil pastel
©2018 Charlene Brown

This painting may be used as an illustration in Chapter 3 in the 6-generation auto-fictional journal I am writing. This chapter features a composite character (mostly me) called Mary-Jean. Here’s an excerpt from the draft.

In November 1963, after hitch-hiking through a ridiculous number of countries, Mary-Jean started looking for a job near Innsbruck, so she would have a place to stay during the upcoming Winter Olympics.  She got a job washing floors in a Krankenhaus on a mountain-side south of the city. One week after she started she was told that ‘her’ President had been shot. As she hadn’t yet acquired the 50-word German vocabulary one needs to wash floors in Austria, they practically had to act out Kennedy’s assassination in Dallas to get the message across. Even though Kennedy wasn’t her President at all, like many Canadians she thought he was terrific.  It was a very lonely time until a joyous Tyrolean Christmas – despite the trauma of being her first Christmas away from home – worked its miracle a few weeks later.