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A cigarette and a 1968 stingray

A  Cigarette  and  a  1968  Corvette  by:  Clint  Robinson.  Mixed  media  on  vinyl  

My  migration  story  starts  at  City  Park  in  New  Orleans  Louisiana.  Clay  Robinson   was  recently  out  of  the  army  and  back  from  Germany;  his  father  bought  him  a   1968  corvette  stingray  as  a  coming  home  present.  On  weekends  he  would   frequent  City  Park  and  hang  out  with  friends  looking  for  love  and  showing  off   his  new  ride.  One  weekend  a  young  Cathy  Broom  sees  the  corvette  and  Clay   Robinson  hanging  out,  encouraged  by  her  friends  she  walks  over  to  Clay  and   asks  to  borrow  a  cigarette.  This  is  the  beginning  of  a  thirty-­‐nine  year   relationship.  After  dating  for  a  couple  of  years  they  get  married  and  start  a   family  settling  down  in  Chalmette  Louisiana.  Their  coming  together  was  a   chance  meeting  influenced  by  multiple  non-­‐popular  incidences.     Years  earlier  Clay’s  father,  Johnny  living  in  North  Georgia  married  and  started  a   family.  Tough  times  and  location  led  him  to  a  criminal  life  of  running   moonshine  and  avoiding  the  law.                  


When  times  started  to  get  tough  in  the  moonshine  business  and  for  reasons  never   made  clear  he  abandoned  his  wife  and  daughter  and  headed  to  Florida.  His  stay   in  Florida  wasn’t  long  before  he  moved  to  New  Orleans  and  started  a  new  life,  a   new  family  and  a  new  career  as  a  house  painter.  In  the  late  forties  Johnny  and   Marie  met  in  New  Orleans,  Marie  was  a  recent  widow  with  three  young  children.   Johnny  and  Marie  married  and  had  two  children  by  1950  the  youngest  being  Clay.     During  the  thirties,  Fritz  was  travelling  with  the  Navy  as  baker  and  received  a   Dear  John  letter  explaining  that  his  wife  had  left  him  for  another  man  and  taken   their  daughter  to  another  state.  Fritz’s  father  who  was  an  invalid  had  died  and  in   both  incidents  because  of  wartime  and  location  in  Japan  he  didn’t  receive   notification  until  after  these  crucial  events  had  taken  place.       My  Migration,  detail  of   Fritz’s  journey  to  Japan   and  back  surrounded  by   turmoil  (reds).  

              Fast-­‐forward  to  the  Slidell  Louisiana  in  the  forties  after  the  war  and  Fritz  meets   Rita  at  a  local  hangout  for  tourists.  Fritz  is  a  short  order  cook  and  Rita  is  a   vacationer  hanging  out  at  the  beach  with  her  cousins.  In  his  eighties  Fritz  finally   admitted  that  Rita  had  gotten  pregnant  and  he  had  to  marry  her.  Thus  the  Broom   family  was  formed,  and  settled  down  in  New  Orleans  the  home  of  Rita,  eventually   moving  to  Chalmette  and  raising  their  family,  in  1954  Cathy  the  youngest  child  of   Fritz  and  Rita  was  born.       Patriarchs  form  both  families  started  life  outside  of  New  Orleans,  had  failed  first   marriages,  and  experienced  the  relocation  of  their  eldest  daughters  and  the  start   of  new  life,  a  new  wife  and  more  children.       The  matriarchs  from  both  families  had  varied  backgrounds  even  though  they   both  hailed  from  New  Orleans.  Marie  a  nurse  and  former  welder  for  the  wartime   effort  helped  support  and  steer  the  family  during  their  troubled  history.  Clay   never  escaped  his  criminal  ways.  Rita,  aside  from  the  pregnancy  led  a  traditional   life  of  wife  and  mother.  


The  youngest  children  from   both  families  met  and  formed   an  ongoing  relationship  over  a   cigarette  and  a  1968  Corvette.     Both  families  shared  similar   yet  different  paths  extending   to  Japan  and  Germany.    Only  to   come  back  to  New  Orleans  and   form  a  complex  history  of   many  people.       Clay  and  Cathy  settled  in   Chalmette  and  started  a  family   having  me  Clint  and  my   brother  Cary.  I  have  made   decisions  in  life  that  have   brought  my  history  full  circle   sort  of.  My  family  started  in   Georgia,  after  starting  my   New  Orleans,  Slidell,  and  overlapping  paths  detail  from  “A  Cigarette  and   professional  career  I  returned  to   1968  Corvette”.  By  Clint  Robinson   Georgia  and  brought  the   traditions  of  my  family  here  to  raise  my  daughters.  Our  traditions  have  become   more  complex  with  time  and  my  own  family  and  the  addition  of  my  wife’s  family   traditions.         “A  Cigarette  and  a   1968  Corvette”  is  a   mixed  media  piece   that  incorporates  old   photographs,  vinyl   records,  an  emblem   from  that  1969   corvette  and  a   paintbrush.  The   photos  are  arranged   in  such  a  way  as  to   suggest  the   geographical  location   of  each  person  in  the   story.  Connected  by   lines  tracing  their   journeys  over  time.   Germany  detail  from  “A  Cigarette  and  a  1968  Corvette”.  By  Clint  Robinson.  


Warm  colors  are  representational  of  the        struggles  faced  by  members  in  the  family.      Cool  colors  are  representational  of  the        coming  together  of  the  two  families.  The        paintbrush  signifies  the  future  ongoing        journey  of  my  self  and  my  own  family        beyond  the  confines  of  my  traditional        upbringing.     The  following  are  details  of        the  artwork  showcasing  the  journeys  m      made  by  my  family  leading  to  the          creation  of  my  own  family  history.  


A Cigarette and a 1968 Corvette