Virgil & Lucille Cantini were my neighbors for about 25 years until they passed away a few years ago. They were both well known Pittsburgh artists. But I'm not going to dwell on that aspect of their lives, as there are plenty of articles on the internet, and elsewhere.
I just want to remember them...as they once walked down my street to their studio from their home around the corner. I didn't get to know them as well as I'd have liked to, but I'd been invited into their studio and home several times, and learned how to make Capri salad, and apple crisp from Lucille a long time ago when I was younger and cooking was mysterious.
I remember in their house they had a fabulous vintage 1960s couch that was a mile long, and the same antique oak flat files I have.
They used to give me big bags of watercress to make watercress sandwiches, something I still remain baffled by- a sandwich made from leaves. I remember eating them like a salad instead.
Funny the things you remember about someone. I will always remember that she never wore pants- always skirts and she would have a few crumbs on her shirt just like I seem to always have... and he- always opinionated- would gruffly command me with his Italian accent, "That'a tree, you need to cut it down! You can't see the house!" I was always outraged when he would tell me that and I would try to defend my street tree, I laugh thinking about it now. He was a character and I miss them both.
Over 25 years I watched them walk up and down my street becoming older and slower, and one day with a cane, and then sadly one day without his wife forever. Then one day he was gone too.
I'm afraid of that inevitable stage of life, and it is creeping up on us faster than I ever imagined.
For several years I've been waiting for the chance to photograph their studio, and I was finally given my chance by their daughter who was moving things out for auction. The long oak trestle table with carved lions was already gone but there was still plenty of beautiful and interesting things to photograph.( Step into the artist"s studio...Collapse )