"Imagination at Play!"

by Michael Boss
Acrylic on Panel
20" X 30"

From the Collection of Fred Pratt, Hill City, Kansas

Growing up on the High Plains, we kids didn't have an overabundance in terms of physical possessions! We built model kits, played with Structo, Tonka, or even the superb British Moko Lesney cars and trucks. And not to forget backyard baseball, football and other games.

Aviation was very fascinating during the late fifties and early sixties. Lots of small private planes, the airlines and the United States Air Force were always over our heads. The local airport was the place to bike. When we tumbled to the fact there were derelect old birds from the World War II era at the north side of the airport it became the playground for imagination.

The skeletons of a Fairchild PT-19A and Vultee BT-13 Valiant became our very own air force, or even space ships. In the time of the late 1950s through the early 1960s there was no color television. The old, short war films and movies were shown in black and white. Movies which came to the theater were often in color.
The painting developed from photos taken in 1963 with my Brownie Hawkeye camera. It didn't fit in my pocket like today's cell phone/camera, but that trusty Brownie always seemed to go everywhere I went.

So it seemed natural to paint the memories in black and white and the planes and kids in "real time" color. The four-engined B-29 is for a very best friend and part of the Imagination Team, Steve Sandlin of Vancouver, Washington.
Eventually, both planes went to the local salvage yard. However, we did manage to save the Ranger 175 engine from the PT-19.
Heady days indeed!