What made you all come to Fredericksburg and what were the early days like?
I grew up out here in the country. This was my home. Charles always loved the Hill Country. My mother wasn’t doing well and my father needed my help so we moved back home. It was a much smaller community than it is now. Everyone sort of knew everyone else. When things started opening on Main Street, we knew the shop owners and it was quite different than it is now.
How else has the city changed since you all arrived?
It’s grown a lot but it still has good points about it. It still has the old German heritage and things are kept nice and clean, which is a real plus.
What was a memorable art trip for you?
I didn’t travel as much with Charles as much, I was staying here with the children. One time we decided to go to Denver. It was the summer and the kids were out of school. When we arrived, there wasn’t a hotel or motel to stay in because there was some large convention going on there. We traveled everywhere trying to find a place. We found a place that was just being built. We slept in the parking lot of the hotel until they opened up the next morning at 10 am. It was one long night and long week in Denver.
Are you an artist?
Oh, goodness no! I had to take an art course once and it was pretty bad - it was AWFUL! I’m pretty sure that the instructor passed me so he wouldn’t have to see me again. I can be a critic but I sure couldn’t do it.
Did Charles ever make any special pieces just for you?
Yes, there were several times we went on a trip just he and I. He would make special pieces just for me. One was done around Taos, New Mexico. He did a town painting of it just for me.
Were the kids encouraged to be artists?
No, we just felt that they should pursue whatever made them happy and not push them into any particular direction.
What was a fond memory of Charles as a father?
The children were always thrilled when they saw dad coming home. It was like I had six children instead of just 5, because Charles would get on the floor and play and laugh. He would sing to them at night to put them to sleep. He always made a lot of time for his kiddos and he enjoyed them tremendously. They all had great times with their dad. As they grew up, Charles always had them laughing about something or other. Usually it was something silly that he had done, it was always full of laughs around here.
What was the one thing you remember most that Charles taught you?
He really taught me to see the beauty in nature. He would pick up a small flower or tiny bug and exclaim over the beauty of it. He would recognize the intricacy and the play of colors involved. He always felt very near to God when he was out in nature.
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