We missed last weekend’s update due to the fast pace of our trip to visit my GrandMother in St. Joseph – that woman can really move. In the time we were there she introduced Charles to the majority of my Dad’s extended family and friends, took us on a historical tour of St Joseph, schooled us in some games, coordinated a full pew of family to join us for church, and brought us to her favorite restaurants around town. The itinerary would have been impressive for anyone, but for a 90 year old woman it was AMAZING. We thank her for all of the careful planning: it made for a wonderful trip!
I was expecting a good time but not to learn so much: from my grandmothers stories about how every couple met and fell in love going back to my great-great grandmother, seeing the building and location of where my great-grandfather worked, witnessing just how vast the Missouri river is during a 3 mile run, experiencing my first ever bells performance during church, and most importantly watching a documentary my Grandfather and Great Uncle put together about their creation of the mosaic below.
This 15′ x 7′ replica of “The Last Supper” was created and assembled by my Great Uncle Al with the help of family and friends. My Grandmother and Grandfather helped along the way along way cutting and placing Italian tiles, but their greatest contribution was the documentation of the project. Grandpa took pictures of every part of the project from the planning stages, materials, work sessions, volunteers, engineering, to the unavailing. He put each image into a slide show and recorded a script for each slide. This was eventually put onto a VHS presentation that Grandma shared with me and Charles. It was the first time I had ever heard his voice, or ever was able to appreciate his all-to-familiar humor. It was a priceless experience.
We saw the one-ton mosaic as it still hangs in its commissioned spot in the Ashland Methodist Church where it was placed in 1966. I think the best part about this project is that while my Great Uncle Al was an artist his whole life, this was his first mosaic. Talk about go big or go home…. not only the size but the subject matter makes this an huge undertaking! And it is absolutely beautiful: the tiles and colors were carefully planned and came together so perfectly. I saw it as a child and could not appreciate just how amazing it was: I am so thankful for the perspective and wisdom that a little age brings.
There was too much to this trip to really put into words, but I will forever keep them in my mind and heart. I am so grateful to my Grandma for putting it together for me and Charles. We will be looking to head back out there next year – hopefully spring or early summer will find us another opportunity for a return visit!