Eighteen and on my own, I left Pennsylvania behind and struck out for California. My 1946 Nash and my money only made it as far as Mancos, Colorado. On one side of the town are towering, heavily-forested mountains, and on the other side are the Indian cliff dwellings and the desert. In the distance are huge flat-top mesas, looking like fat tree stumps in a forest. I found employment with Pat Garrett III, a descendant of the sheriff of western lore. I rode up into the Rocky Mountains and stocked line cabins with provisions. When the season was over, I rode a horse to work at his gas station in town. Eager to move on, I bought a 1960 Chevy and continued my trip.
California at last. Having arrived at night, I awoke on the sand in Long Beach and for the first time looked out on the Pacific Ocean. Looking around to get my bearings I spotted a newspaper machine. “WOODSTOCK” spelled the huge headline. I thought to myself, darn, I went the wrong way!
Heading north on Highway One, I marveled at the coastline. The trees bent leeward in a permanent wind-swept position. I camped on the beach with this scene above me. I took a picture in my mind. When I returned to Pennsylvania, I again dug into my grandmother's trunk of art supplies and painted this scene in oil.
This is my first oil painting.
Written by Edmund Fratus . . . Copyright 9/26/2017