Bobbing Along

A Lifetime of Stories: collected, painted, shared.

Ancestors & Anecdotes

Brace yourself.

This section is dedicated to stories from years past as well as more recent vignettes. Some stories may be delightful. Some may be serious. Some may be very, very personal and for those, I say: read at your own risk. This section of my blog is dedicated to those sorts of stories that my family may, down the road, eventually, want documented. If they don’t, then, down the road, eventually, they can just delete the whole damn thing.

Oh, and please don’t expect these to be in any chronological order. It’s all I can do to remember the details.


I never let the details get in the way of a good story.

Just sayin’.

History: My Father’s Story

Parents don’t live forever. As we watch them age, we begin to realize all that will be lost when they are gone. I treasure their stories and am compelled to share them in print. Myth or history, all the tales I had heard since childhood could not be left to my memory alone. With some urging, my […]

Eulogy for my Father

E. Burl Randolph April 16, 1920-January 27, 2018   The walls of my studio are peppered with notes—all sorts of quotations from different writers and thinkers and people whose words I admire. This collection of thoughts began years ago, long before computers and their overwhelming access to information. I remember being in our local library […]

History: My Mother’s Story

As my parents aged, I urged them to write their personal histories. My siblings and I had heard many tales during our childhood but I felt it was important to have those family stories written as each parent remembered them. I wasn’t the only one making this request, of course; other siblings did as well. […]


Old fashioned. Hand-written. On paper. In ink. Still creased from mailing and lovingly saved for decades. These are messages from someone long gone, written during times of great difficulty. The writer was my grandmother. The recipient was my great grandmother. They lived quite far from each other in an age when most families lived in […]

About Wonderings

Over the phone I was told: more tests are needed. I wasn’t ready for this. Not ready to face this. Not ready to hear those words. Not ready at all. My studio is my chapel, my sanctuary… My work is my psalm, my prayer… It is in that room, with the tools that are so […]

About Celebration

This is another painting which burst out of me with stunning immediacy. I began working on it right after I had accompanied a friend to her final chemotherapy treatment. Later, for an exhibit, I wrote about the inspiration behind it: Late March, 2004 It was one of those days. A slight snow had fallen overnight, […]

A Father’s Story

Sprinkled throughout this blog, one can find more than a few remembrances of loved ones who have passed away. Writing about them on, well, not exactly paper, is my way of honoring those I’ve lost and memorializing their existence. Knowing that someone someday, somewhere, is apt to read about persons with whom I had a […]


Written for the Wedding of Maeve Kennedy McKean and David John McKean “Good Evening, “I am honored and delighted to give the blessing tonight.  It should be mentioned that I am neither priest nor preacher nor rabbi.  I am simply—like most of you here—one who dearly loves the young couple for whom we gather.   I ask that […]

Fifty Years

“It was very quiet inside the long, black limousine. I do not remember who sat with me. I do not remember any conversation. I do remember turning around in my seat, looking back at the cars in line behind us. This somber parade, identified by small, bluish-purple flags, stretched all the way down the hillside […]

Aye! More about Eyes

Some have asked what it is like to have single vision. My answer usually is “it’s no big deal.” And for the most part, that is true. Depth perception is my greatest issue. The front fender of my car is a clear testament to that. When I am working on a painting, I’ll often stand […]

A Door Opens

History fascinates me. Not the economics and treaties and dates and stuff like that, you know, not the pesky details that one is tested on when studying the subject, no, not that stuff. I find history fascinating when people–ordinary and extraordinary–are the focus. After all, what is the point of history if not to remember […]

Painting “Aloft”

Occasionally, a painting will literally burst from hand to brush to canvas, without any notion or planning at all. Aloft is one of those paintings. When I began this work, we had just learned of my mother’s cancer diagnosis. She was, at that point, an 18-year breast cancer survivor but the cancer that had then invaded […]

Eulogy for My Mother

Delivered on April 23, 2010   Good morning, On behalf of my father, my sisters and brothers, and my entire family, I would like to thank you for the respect you have shown my mother and the love you have shown us by your presence here today. We have been deeply touched by the outpouring […]


It was a check-up. Nothing more. No urgent issues. No medical problems. Just a check-up. We reviewed the list of medications: for hypertension, check; for cholesterol, check; for digestive issues, check; for anxiety… “So, how is the Celexa working? How are you feeling?” “Better. I’m feeling better.” “Just better? Not good?” Hmmm. I thought better […]

The Great Fourth of July Flood and Other Tales

Holidays. Everyone loves holidays. In this family, holidays tend to bring a unique level of chaos. I refer to certain crises as “party games” for, if nothing else, the crisis of the day later becomes fodder for entertainment and laughter. I remember a Thanksgiving years and years ago when I was just entering adulthood. It […]