My father was an artist. He didn’t make a living at it. So far as I know the closest he came to trying was when he sold his jewelry on Berkeley’s Telegraph Avenue in the 1950’s.
“We could have used the money,” my mother said, with a grudging laugh that had stuck with her for over fifty years, “but your father was never much of a salesman.” No surprise there. I picture him sitting on the sidewalk, legs crossed at the ankle, nose in a textbook, a forelock of black hair covering his eyes while his silver and wood necklaces, pendants and earrings set out on a bed sheet, jewelry fit for a beatnik chick in a black turtleneck sweater, sold themselves or not at all. “I think he just wanted out of the house,” she added. Which seems reasonable—the last of their four children was born in 1958.