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.