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Wednesday, September 10, 2008

1987 White Plains-My College Years

1987-White Plains

white plains (600 x 450)
Title: White Plains
Medium: Acrylic
Canvas: 6 x 6 by 1 1/2 deep edge canvas
Date: 2008

There once was a little girl who lived in the country tucked far and away from any city life. It wasn't long before that little girl longed to venture out on her own, to test the waters, to feel the independence she so very much wanted.

whiteplains rightside (394 x 600)

westchester avenue (600 x 450)
Title: Westchester Avenue
Medium: Acrylic
Canvas: 6 x 6 by 1 1/2 deep edge canvas
Date: 2008

Off to the big city she went. Instead of feeling grown up...she felt so small. She did grow up, one day at a time in the city. Over time she found she didn't have to be on a particular street or in a particular town to get that independent feeling she so desired. Independence isn't a location, it's a state of mind.

westchesterfullview (600 x 527)

..a continuation of my series of the places of lived and loved. Whimsical mixed media art on gallery stretched canvas.
southbroadwaysideview (450 x 600)
Title: South Broadway
Medium: Acrylic
Canvas: 6 x 6 by 1 1/2 deep edge canvas
Date: 2008

south broadway (600 x 591)
Rewind a couple of years ;) to 1987 and you have an 18 year old leaving home for the first time, well kind of the first time. I actually spent the summer of my Junior and Senior year in an apartment owned by my parents and shared it with my G/F's in exchange for cleaning it from top to bottom. No easy feat considering they were college rentals and complete pigsties-nasty, nasty, nasty. We deserved to stay the whole year for free, not just the summer after cleaning those places. Lots of adventures those summers but I'll save those stories for another time.
Back to school.....I went to a school that was 8 hours away from home, just outside of NYC. You almost were fooled that the town was so close to the city because there actually were a lot of neighborhoods and houses with yards nearby. Then you'd go downtown and see all the big buildings, or listen at night and hear the roar of highway 287 come racing off the Tappen Zee bridge, or see all the people lined up at the train station off of main street. The city was close by but far enough away. I couldn't wait for my independence and my taste of freedom from rules. Not that my Mom held us tight by a string, no....she gave us plenty of liberties, it was my 18 year old mind working that I had to travel far and away and be a part of life in the fast lane to actually be considered grown up.

3 pc 1987

I learned a lot about people those two years that I spent in White Plains. I learned a lot about myself during that time as well. It was really my first time that I was really in a community of sorts with soooo many different types of people, different races, different ethnic backgrounds, different religions. Sure we had a variety of people in my hometown, but to live elbow to elbow with so much diversity, well it was very enlightening. I remeber our car rolling up the drive where all the students were unloading their bags and boxes. I looked around with a touch of sweat building on my forehead and wondered who would be my room mate. I had talked to her on the phone and emailed during the summer of our freshmen year but we were otherwise strangers. I looked again and saw so many potential people that could be her. I hope it's her....I definitely hope it's not her, could it be her, oh...this person and I will not get a long at all. My Mom and stepfather and I, as well as my best friend from home lugged my bags up the lawn and through the waves of people up to room 320 in Dannett Hall. Someone had already been there by the evidence of several strewn bags about the tiny dorm room. A Black and White Eagles poster already up. And then the door opened, and in walked the girl I had seen earlier that I had thought would be the worst possible match. My heart sank, and my fears in full swing. We were total opposites at first glance. She a deadhead true and true, hippy style, and fresh un made face and unkept hair. I was Limited girl, preppy but with edge, loved my rock music, but studied as hard as I played. Full hair and makeup in place. Oh ya. This was not a good match.
And then the tears started to roll. The reality hit in, my Mom, Step father and best friend would be leaving soon and I'd be stuck here in this city 440 miles away from home, with all these strangers and a room mate that I was sure I would just not get along with.

Truth be told, Jenny and I had our moments. We were VERY different. But, we became fast friends and very close that year. She taught me how to be free and loosen up, I think I taught her that she could set her mind to something and do it and that she was capable of great things. The group of friends we made were wonderful and fun, and I learned something from each and every one. Jenny found out after that first year that she really wanted to go in a different direction, perhaps travel or join the peace corps, college really wasn't for her so she left and went back home. I was so sad to see her go, knowing that our paths might never cross again. The following year, I moved in with another girl that next year who I had made friends with who couldn't be farther from Jenny's free spirit and hippy style. Michelle was always put together and always tight with her studies but we had some wild times as well with our tours of the city, the trips to VA on a whim, the late night parties in the 320 cafe, our grown up sneaking in to happy hours in manhattan pubs, the trips to her parents house, and many late night talks about all that was going on in our lives, school, and the world around us. I could go on and on--I wonder where these girls are now...I wonder where all the friends I made back in school are today. I, too, had to leave after my sophomore year for different reasons. I finished up college in the SUNY school near my home.

I did meet up a couple of times with the friends I made at Lyn's wedding, and Doug's visit to my home a few times--but like leaves we all have scattered. It was such a short time, but it was a grand time. It was my first real taste of independence and diversity on such a large scale. My quest for freedom and no rules only proved to me that in life, there are always rules to follow, always a limit to your freedom, and your independence is something you create for yourself by taking ownership of your actions. You don't have to be anywhere to find those things. You need to find them within yourself and really understand their impact and meaning for you and your life.

south broadway leftside (450 x 600)

I'm still finding out what those words truly mean. It's a search that may never end. But if anyone does see Lyn (you were a wild one that always made me laugh...I'll never forget the time you drove with one hand on the wheel and the other hand out the sun roof with your middle finger and screemed this is how we say hello in LonG, or Jenny (I hope you found your peace in life and were able to find an outlet to give to the many people you wanted to help), or Michelle (I imagine you are running a company by now, you were always so efficient with everything you did), or Doug (Doug, you were always willing to try something new and different, and you didn't have to say a word, you just new how or when to show up...sometimes a little too much or you'd disappear on us and we'd wonder where the heck you went....ohh like the time you left us in little italy and you wandered on a train and fell asleep and ended up in hoboken, NJ), or Kristen (you were our big sister, wise in her ways but so caring and fun and always a smile on your face), or Keith (by the way, Keith...I was in love with you but settled for being your best friend, I'm sure you are a sales person because you could win anyone over with the look in your eyes and big grin on your face)--if anyone sees my friends that went to school with me in White Plains, tell them hello for me, and that I've done alright for myself--I've made it this far, but there's still, a long way to go.


Jeanne Rhea said...

Love your post and your paintings. I was never one to reminisce about my youth as I was like you and could never wait to leave home and be on my own. But I could almost remember some fond times....

glimmering prize said...

wow! look at what you have been up to these are great! and I love the big eraser!

thanks for your comment on my blog-
are you talking about the tough guy in front of the snowboards- that's our fit model- Jason! and he's single. Mikey Welch- he's not so cute- trust me...

Mrs.Kwitty said...

What a great walk down memory lane. I often think about the many friends I've left behind and wonder where they are today.

I am loving your new series--the colors are wonderful and I just love how you tied it all into your memories--art with heart, my friend--it's a beautiful thing!

Smiles, Karen

Denise said...

Oh you have sent me on a nostalgic trip! I grew up in Armonk and going to White Plains was a big deal! In high school we used to skip school and take the bus there too.


what a fun trip back in time....memories are sweet :)

I'm Toni said...

Loving your new series!

Hate that we won't see you this week, but happy birthday to your big guy! Enjoy the beach!


Heather Robinson said...

I honestly get excited when I visit because I get a chance to learn more about you through your artwork and your blogging. I am particularly drawn to this series that you are creating on the places that you have lived. They influence us in ways that are so profound. Thank you for keeping me constantly inspired (and in love with your artwork). Honestly, I could decorate my whole house with it!

shabby*girl said...

Oh, Lucy! I love your work and these BLUES are fabulous! What a cool blog! I received your sweet comment on my blog! Thanks so much for taking the time to drop by! Yes, the Suzi Blu class has been a real treat! She will have another class in January. Stay in touch! ~Missy

Kathy said...

Oh Jodi~
You have a gift with words. You need to write a book sweetheart!

Contessa Kris said...

Aww, what a wonderful walk through your memory banks. I never went away to college, I went after I was married and with children. So I missed out on the roommates parties and such. Your new artwork is just beautiful! I used to live in NY, met my DH there in jr. high. Kingston NY. Small world.

Ragamuffin Gal said...

Love reading the stories that go along with your creations ~ makes them seem so much more real. What talent I admire in you! Blessings, Katie

Paula said...

I really like your stories that go with your artwork, they make it all the more real. This is really a fun and emotional post. Like you, there's so many people from my past that I'd love to know where they are today. Just sit down and have a chat. Hope some of yours pop back into your life for a visit someday ~ wouldn't that just be a hoot?!

Two Little Witches said...

What a sweet series Jody.
They are wonderful!