I love Grandma Moses. She wasn’t my real grandma, but I love her artwork. When I read the Indy’s, “Lawmaker Presses Laguna to Move Ahead With Granny Flats,” I wondered if Grandma Moses ever lived on such a premise. So, I called around the New England area to find out. “Hello. I’m doing a column on Grandma Moses. Did she ever live in a Granny Flat?” A harried civil servant answered, “Hey busybody, why do you want to know where Grandma lived?” I was taken aback at the reaction. I stuttered, “I’m doing an article. Ah, I know Moses passed away some time ago. I believe no harm can come from my inquiry.” The harried civil servant answered, “Sounds like mumbo jumbo peeping Tom talk. Get a life. Let Grandma Moses rest in peace, she’s a national treasure.” Then followed a dial tone to emphasis the futility of further inquiry.
Whew, New Englanders are a closed off bunch. So, I surmised Grandma Moses ancestors came over on the Mayflower and made a pact to keep addresses unlisted to ward off busybodies like me. So to keep this story from ending here, I’ve made up the rest of it from whole cloth left over from my needlepoint work at the Sawdust Festival. My hangings included sayings like “Wells Fargo Gave Me a Mortgage but No House,” “Bless this House with an E” and “Laguna Forgives All Code Violations.”
Grandma Moses started her serious painting at age 78. She lived in the first granny flat. A fellow artist owned the granny flat and agreed to keep her occupancy a secret from grandchildren, who finger-painted over every one of her completed canvasses right up to her 78th birthday. Moses told her fellow artist landlord, “I love my grandchildren dearly, but there’s not an artistic bone amongst them. They’re hacks. Don’t tell them where I am.”
Grandma Moses’ story can be a guiding light for other Laguna old timers, who want to pursue artistic passions, but can’t get away from babysitting grandchildren all the time. A Susi Q person sighed, “I never signed up for Care.Com. These grandkids have painted my passion into a corner. An aspiring grandparent sculptor added, “I just ran away. I did leave a note though. It said, “Dear grandkids I got slimed and Nickelodeon has sent me on a world cruise. I’ll bring back presents for the great grandchildren. See you guys in 20 years.”
Laguna’s renowned sculptor, Louis Longi, may be well advised to resubmit his artist residencies under the guise of granny flats to take advantage of the new California law that permits them. There appears to be a long list of slimed globe trotting seniors who would like to return to their beloved Laguna to do wonderful seascapes and to feel safe knowing their artistic works will not be slimed over by finger painting grandchildren.
Crantz tells the Indy that his grandchildren experience is different. His grandchildren finger paint over his columns and readers agree the work is much improved by their efforts.