Thursday, October 17, 2019

Life with Millard


by Joel Wells Hallam Green

Millard and Jeanne along with the youngest of their 6 children, Rob and Wendy, arrived in the Florida Keys in the late sixties, about the time that “catch & release” tournaments became predominant.  It wasn’t long before Millard’s paintings became highly regarded prizes awarded by so many of the major fishing tournaments.  Known for capturing the most loved aspects of sport fishing in the Florida Keys, Millard’s works often display the thrilling moments that fishermen live for – that first leap of the tarpon!

At sixteen I asked my dad what constituted a successful life.  I was amazed by the simplicity of his answer, which proved to be more of a mantra:

“Produce more than you consume.”

Looking back, that was his way!  He was never one to go out and buy something if he could figure out a way to make it himself…and he made amazing things!  He produced 6,500+ paintings over his lifetime, built two gliders and flew them without trepidation.  He built huge kites and a million model airplanes out of little pieces of balsa wood, rubber bands, tissue paper and spit.  He  built soap box derby cars for the boys and my first big-girl vanity and mirror.  Our Halloween costumes were the envy of all our friends.

He built his own telescope and ground the lenses, then invented and fabricated a personal observatory to keep out the bitter cold the first time we saw an Aurora Borealis and the rings around Saturn.

He repaired everything from our shoes to our toys with airplane glue, and made Wendy a toenail out of a thin piece of plexi-glass before artificial nails were in vogue.

When the Grand kids were little, they thought Grandpa and Grandma were poor because he always sent them “home made” birthday cards.  As they got older they began to understand and would get more than a little “miffed” if they saw a Hallmark card coming through the mail.

It wasn’t always easy, but it was always rich!  Yes, Dad, we remember it all, and although we probably tested your sobriety every day of our lives, we GOT it!  We stood in the cold watching the stars and in swarms of mosquitoes steadying the kites and holding the model airplanes.  We were your helpers as you finished the basement and fixed the car.  We got the point of it all.  And every one of us has a little magic of our own because of of your influence.

We dedicate this calendar to you, Dad.

Joel with David, Paul, Robert Wendy and of course, Jon

For further information contact: Wendy Wells Sage at 251-645-4335 or e-mail me at Ltlwng14ten@aol.com

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