"This One's for You, Rich"

by Michael Boss
Gouache on Rag Board
14" X 18"

From the collection of Schamber Historic Preservation LLC
In the late 1950s, my parents and I took my brother, Rich to Norton , Kansas and saw him off on the east bound Rock Island Rocket. I said goodbye to my childnood hero as he stepped up into a passenger car. The night was rainy. For some reason I never forgot that particular setting.
In 2007, I noticed an old red house rather close to the north side of the Rock Island , now Kyle Railroad Company, tracks. The house is located just east of Highway 283. In the spring of 2011, Sunell Koerner and I drove to Norton to have a delicious Mexican dinner. Before going to eat, I simply had to record images of the Dr. E. A. Lyons House built in the mid 1890s.

Looking through those pictures, it didn't take long to combine the 1950s night memory and the Lyons house. The stormy night idea came from moonlight breaking through the clouds of a dissipating thunderstorm. The painting was set in my mind but it took over a year to begin the project.
As of this 2012 writing, the house is being entirely renovated by Schamber Historic Preservation and is listed on the National Historic Register of Historic Places.

Big thank yous to Allen Young of Minneapolis , Minnesota for sending his Rock Island books. And to Larry Donahey of Norton , Kansas for sharing the history of the Lyons house. Plus the big smile that came when, in words, I verbally painted a picture of my ideas for the painting to Len Schamber of Damar, Kansas .

It took 50+ years to bring that image to canvas.¬Ý Rich eventually came back from his life far away from Hill City , Kansas .¬Ý We spent the last several years before his passing in 2009, living together in the same home he left all those many years ago.
As you look through the painting for my ever-present icon, my beloved little white poodle Buckwheat who passed that same year, you can only imagine the thoughts and emotions that were going through me as the painting came together’Ķand on that dark rainy night so very long ago.
That's why today I can say, "This one's for you, Rich".

Rich and Buckwheat