Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Family Totems

As wonderful as it would be to have a Great Hall decorated with the chivalrous exploits of your dad and granddad in defense of the King, we are blessed in our family to have several of the artworks of my dad gracing our home. Recently, I realized that these are landscapes of locations we hold dear with significance to our family history and some occasional adventurous exploits even if not on the field of battle. It helps that some of them are actual totems:

OA Longhouse at Camp Omache, Chief Seattle Council, BSA
circa 1963, © Larry K. Vaughn
As evidence that this great scene is connected to my family, here's a couple of contemporaneous photos:

with two aunts & friend
My brother and I about 1963

There are a few other totemic works. Another related to our wonderful summers when my dad ran Scout camp, is this oil that hangs in our bedroom:

Omache BSA Camp Director's Cabin on Lake Hughes, © Larry K. Vaughn
This is interesting for the towel hanging to dry in the rare sun of the Cascade foothills. No doubt there are some little boys that have been over at the family beach just to the right.

A more recent watercolor also hangs in our bedroom. 

"James Island" © Larry K. Vaughn
This is based on a monochromatic study he did for a card-printing from an original oil no longer in the family's possession which explains, in part, his use of interesting color-study and contrast. The subject is James Island at La Push, Washington from Rialto Beach. 

I hiked three Scout 50-milers along this stretch of rugged un-Pacific coastline in Olympic National Park - twice as a boy with my dad. The second of those was also with my brother and cousin. The third was the summer I got home from Brazil with a family friend and his Scout Troop.

It's been nagging me for a long time to gather up a digital collection of my dad's artwork that I can still access. He has sold a few but given away many more to friends and family, particularly those pieces that serve as a reminder of places and memories he shared with them. 

We haven't slain any dragons or besieged any castles, but we have had some accomplishments in our family life that are beautifully remembered. 

Thanks, Dad.

July 28, 2012
This morning, the mysterious comment appeared below with the link to photos from our 1972 50-miler on the Olympic Coast. (40 years ago!) I will link the url here as otherwise you have to cut and paste from the comment. I will be exploring on Facebook to discover from whom I think these came. I appear in several of the photos. The shocker was the first one when I recognized my backpack from behind and that of a friend of mine - he sewed that smiley face patch over a hole chewed by a chipmunk.


  1. Grant let's hike this again....I have done this hike four times in my life...I'm wanting to get back. How about next summer? Jess

    1. I would really like to do that. Maybe take some of our kids. My problem is that My Aunt wants me to go to Italy with her next Summer, my mission friends want me to go to a reunion (in Brazil) next Spring, and I want to go back to Wales for more family history work.

      Your idea might just be the best. Certainly cheaper than the other trips I can't really afford. We'll see . . .

    2. 1972 50 Miler:

    3. SP is that you? email me at


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