Monday, May 25, 2009

Happy Birthday, Dad!

Today is my father's birthday. If you don't already know him, I'd like to share with you a little about Gene Baer.
Gene is a writer, a painter, a cartoonist, a musician, a wild food authority, a magician, a teacher, a devoted husband, and lucky for me, my father.
I know I'm extremely blessed to have two such wonderful people for parents. I was given the enormous gift of a magical childhood, thanks to Gene and Jackie Baer.

Growing up on Martha's Vineyard, my father spent endless hours treating us kids to all kinds of adventures. When he wasn't teaching art at our school, he was taking us on all kinds of journeys around the island. He often took us for trips hunting mushrooms in the forest, picking grapes, raspberries, blueberries or sassafras in the woods, hunting for watercress or fiddle heads growing by streams, or occasionally hunting for the elusive wild gorilla. 
He taught us about the ocean by taking us snorkeling to his favorite underwater hide-outs. He taught us how to build and fly kites, how to make coins come out of our ears, and about a million other cool things.
Ask any kid who grew up on Martha's Vineyard who their favorite teacher was, and most will tell you it was the legendary Mr. Baer. 
 Besides being my art teacher in school, he spent innumerable hours teaching me, and any friend I had over that day, art at home. Every Sunday afternoon was "Art day", and I was allowed to invite my friends over to make art with my Dad at the dining room table.
But above all else, my father taught us by example. To this day he still draws constantly, always sketching his latest ideas. He's always onto new projects, contemplating ideas that are usually way over my head.

As far back as I can remember, my father's paintings have always been my biggest artistic inspiration. They never fail to completely capture my imagination.
This painting has hung in our living room for as long as I can remember.

Another favorite.

My parent's house is chock full of my father's, my mother's, and my Grandfather's art, plus a million other wild and wonderful things. If you ever get lucky enough to have Gene Baer give you a tour of our house, you're in for some fun. 

These days, Gene spends just about every waking hour writing. He's written and published children's books, art lesson books, and music manuals. He's currently working on a philosophy book.

I guess the stars were aligned the day I was born, to be so lucky as to call Gene Baer my Dad.

I love you Dad, Happy Birthday!


Chew-Mee said...

MMMMM Maybe he would like an B-Day Eel Dance No?

Hillary Clinton Army said...

I imagine he would love one!

Charlene said...

Well, a very happy birthday to your dad, the talented and amazing Gene Baer!

You are incredibly fortunate to have such talented and fascinating parents.

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

What idiot put in that last post!!!
Dad was overwhelmed by your Blog---He has been inviting anyone that he can catch to come and view it!!As usual you did a great job,Gretchen. He loved it! Check out the last F.B. post by Justin-----That painting really came out of the depths of time.
Thank you ,Gretchen ----We LOVE you--------Mom

kcmustang said...

Happy Birthday Papa Baer!

I understand why Gretchen has such a fondness of stars after reading this. I am happy your Dad was born, without him there would be no YOU! What a great tribute to your Dad, Gretchen. I see so many of your great qualities in this post.

Many wishes and blessings to you, the very talented and gifted Gene Baer.

Flying Mermaid said...

Wow, I had no idea! How come I've always heard about Jackie and not about Gene???

Anonymous said...

Many wishes and blessings to you, the very talented and gifted Gene Baer.


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