Monday, September 17, 2018

"Children for Rent"?

"Tomales Barn" (8x10) o/c

When my Swedish great grandmother, Hanna came to America soon after the turn of the 20th century, she landed in Chicago not knowing the English language or the peculiar customs of a strange new country. 

At the time the automobile was a new invention (although no one had yet invented the garage)... Instead, local townsfolk were renting out their barns and carriage houses for the owners of these newfangled machines to park them in.

Everywhere Hanna went she saw signs that read "Barn For Rent"...the only problem was that in Swedish the word barn means "children"! Poor Hanna was so upset that she approached a policeman on a busy street corner and demanded he do something about this terrible injustice! 

Fortunately the policeman (who was undoubtedly Irish) was able to convey to her the truth of the situation and relieve her anxiety...until that is, when several years later while she was operating a speakeasy during prohibition, none other than John Dillinger happened to rent a room from her. Ahh, but that's another story for another time~

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