(The first in a series of coming-of-age stories.)
Getting settled in our new digs in the Brentwood section of Los Angeles has meant a lot of soul-searching for Rita and me. For example: where to hang that framed lithograph of the French painting made famous in a celebrated 1916 Chicago court case.
This September Morn, not to be confused with the Neil Diamond album or the upcoming movie thriller, shows a naked French maiden preparing to take a dip in a cold Swiss lake.
When my grandfather tried sneaking it onto the wall of his Ohio farmhouse my grandmother would have nothing to do with it. It remained in a closet for 50 years.
Novelists today are fortunate. It wasn’t until the 1960s that the obscenity rules stifling authors were revoked (along with the introduction of The Pill) and the atmosphere changed. We take it all for granted now as we seek to top the sex scene in our previous novel.
Of course, parents don’t just worry now. They agonize about how far their sons and daughters went after Saturday night’s high school prom. But I guess that’s the price we pay for the new freedom.
As for September Morn, it is proudly hanging next to my computer desk as I write this. And I am sure my Grandfather is smiling as he looks down admiring every delicious curve.
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