This last year I illustrated my mom’s book “My Bring Up”, a memoir of her childhood growing up in the small town of Chelsea Vermont. Throughout the process my mom and I collaborated on the images I created. It was a whole new experience reading the stories and then having her describe her memories to me. The small details she remembers really brought the stories to life.
Chapter 19 Cast Iron
“Way back when, they weren’t washed much. I am surprised be didn’t die of food poisoning. After frying bacon, the grease was left in it, for weeks, used and reused. When it was cleaned, it was a bit of salt and taking a cloth and wiping it out. Hot water and soap was never used. They would say it would ruin the pan.”Â
When we didn’t collaborate on the images I was able to surprise her with what I came up with. I read her book over and over again trying to come up with the right image to accompany each story. She trusted me to run with my ideas and create images that were a good fit.
Chapter 1 Imagination of West Hill Kids
“If it was too cold in the morning, we would go lay down on top of the old Holstein cow. Her name was Moochie Cow. It must have been a sight for anyone to drive by and see four kids draped all over the forgiving cow. She would just chew her cud and patiently wait until the last kid slid off her back.”
For certain chapters I chose to depict the small or almost insignificant. A stack of sugar cubes, nothing important, barely in the story. This choice was made to show that even something as unimportant as a sugar cube helped to shape some part of my Mom’s life. Something we might take for granted now, meant the world then.
Chapter 15 My Five-Dollar Bike
“Back when I was a kid, during the 1950’s and 1960’s, money was tight. You only needed certain things in order to live, and a bicycle wasn’t one of them.”
I am so proud of my Mom for this accomplishment and can’t wait to read what she has in the works right now!
If you would like to purchase a copy of her book Click Here