Mom, 1931 -
before I was born
Mom, 2003 -
after I was born
Maybe I aged her some?
Alice Perry Hardison has been a ranch wife for over 60 years and still runs her own spread at the age of 87 (on June 1, 2000), helped occasionally by her progeny. The spring of '96 she lambed out 30 ewes in the middle of January, getting up every 3 hours to bottle feed the newborn over the course of a month. She finally decided that was the last time she could do that, so we got rid of the sheep. Between she and dad we carry the blood of 7 Native American tribes that we know of and she has raised some wild indians. She is particularly fond of painting scenes of Native Americans in Powwow regalia. But come to think of it, she is particularly fond of painting anything that strikes her fancy.
In between going dancing 3 nights a week, (she still thinks she would like to catch another man since Pop died in 1982), tending to and managing the place, grandmothering everyone around, (there are about 18 of us within easy yelling distance), being active in the Post Falls, Idaho Historical Society, and in the Coeur d'Alene Art on the Green Association, she still finds time to paint.
She has been doing handicrafts and paintings as long as I can remember and today (2000) as I type this I am now nearly sixty-seven. I can remember watching her paint wall paper, make clothes (all of our clothes) for four kids, herself and Pop when we had the ranch in Flume Gulch on the old stage road between Butte and Deer Lodge, Montana. And the old woman is still going strong!!
Here are some of her paintings. Click on the image to get as large an image as I could scan in. I will try to describe the paintings under each image, but because I am not an "Artist" I may not get the terminology right.RaccoonsWatercolor, about 12x18. She says it was an experiment to find out how to make and paint on a black watercolor background. Whatever she did seems to have worked.God's ComforterWatercolor, about 12x18, I think she was just doodling. She likes to play a lot.I think I have it right side up. These are the words she has attached to the painting."Why is it that so many of us persist in thinking that autumn is a sad season? Nature has merely fallen asleep, and her dreams must be beautiful if we are to judge by her countenance."
Fall at the RanchWatercolor, about 14x18, on watercolor paper. I like it. Blossom Mountain ridge in the background
Plonski's Blacksmith ShopWatercolor, about 12x16, on watercolor paper. Plonski's was part of the town of Pleasant View on the Spokane River about the turn of the century. A number of the buildings still exist. The remains of the river bridge were demolished last year. It was at the favorite diving spot and swimming hole for at least 3 generations. The boys and Mother would dive off the top of the bridge. Mom was an Olympic class high diver in her youth.
Young Fancy DancerWatercolor, about 11x17, on Watercolor board. This one won Mom the top award at Coeur d'Alene Art on the Green a few years back. She is proud of it, because she says it is all out of her head, from a remembrance of a youngster at a Powwow. I don't think it is her best Fancy Dancer. There is one in her living room that is much better, about 18x24, but she won't let me take it out of the frame. Besides I couldn't scan it all in.
Chief of the Coeur d'AlenesLawrence Aripa was a good friend of Mom's. This portrait of Lawrence also won Mom the top award at Coeur d'Alene Art on the Green 20 years or so ago. Lawrence has since passed on.
Bugling Elk - The ChallengeWatercolor, about 11x17, on Watercolor board. This is scanned from a Christmas card Mom made this year. Painted about 5 or 6 years ago. Typical of the aspen in Cooney Gulch, near the old ranch in Montana.
Mom and Nancy, 1939 - Feeding TimeOil on something, about 18 x 24. Painted about 40 years ago. It hangs in Mom's bedroom. This also is scanned from a Christmas card Mom made of it this year. Nancy Cozette was my youngest sister who died at the age of 24, leaving Mom to raise a whole new family, Mary D, 5, Tim, 3 and Tony, 2. Mom raised kids for 52 years. Now she is just Grandmothering which amounts to almost the same thing. Tim's kids, Justin, 13, Becky, 11, Maegan, 9, and Loren Cozette, 7 live on the ranch. Mary's kids Corey, 19 and Hosannah, 17 lived on the ranch until 4 years ago, Tony's 2, Justin, 10 and Christopher, 3, are across the river about 5 miles, my brother Mike's son Brian is going to Gonzaga, and lives around the mountain about 5 miles. Mike's daughter Michelle and grandson Domenic, 3 live in Post Falls. My son Brett, 31, is married, in California coaching high school, Casey, 25, is a student of ethno-pharmocology and an explorer, we can't keep track of him, and my daughter, Susan, 27 is in California and married. My sister Tinka's kids Stuart and Gwendolyn are in California also. I tried adding them all up. I think that there are 3 kids left, 10 grandkids, 9 g'grandkids within hollerin' distance and she will probably stick around to raise some g'g'grandkids. By that time there will be a lot more to count. All those present and accounted for are doing just fine in life. [Ages at the time the page was put up in 1996]
Barefoot BobWatercolor, about 12x18, on some kind of coarse manila paper. This is a watercolor of me that she painted from a newspaper clipping I had sent her just as my son Casey and I were completing "The Barefoot Expedition" the Last Fur Bearing Expedition by Canoe from Post Falls to New Orleans in 1984. She presented it to me to hang in my office."The longest trip begins with the first stroke. God gives us the power and the strength to do anything we honestly and truly want to do." And this was something I wanted to do since she first read to me about Lewis and Clark, Tom Sawyer and Mike Fink as a child.
This Page Started August 8th, 1996, My 63rd Birthday In Honor of the Grand and Beautiful Lady that gave me Life, Alice Perry Hardison. She is as beautiful now as she was then.Three mighty important things, Pardn'r, LOVE And PEACE and MOM !!