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Born With a Rusty Spoon: Episode 49

"When Kelly was three months old, I went to work to help make a living. Not wanting to leave my children in the care of strangers, I chose family members to care for them. I paid Mama to babysit although she would have done it for nothing. Comforted though I was that my boys were loved and cared for, I often left the house with tears in my eyes. I was envious of those mothers who did not have to work and could stay home with their babies,'' writes famous artist Bertie Stroup Marah.

My folks were better grandparents than they had been parents, maybe because they were older and more mature. They adored Monty and Kelly and though they still drank some, Mama never drank when the boys were in her care.

Larry was a good father when our sons were little and we spent every hour with them when we weren't working. We took them everywhere we went and treasured our time together.

The four of us moved back to New Mexico when Larry took a job checking wells in the oilfields. A few months later we went back to Colorado, where Larry managed a propane company in Hotchkiss. I returned to work for the school district office.

I loved the mountains in Western Colorado. Everywhere I looked I could visualize paintings from the beautiful scenery. There I began my return to art by taking a few lessons in oil painting from an elderly artist in Delta.

She inspired me to start drawing and painting again. A few years later, at a watercolor demonstration, I became infatuated with that medium, which is very seductive, and difficult to master. The challenge was irresistible. I was determined to learn more about it.


To buy a copy of Bertie's wonderful book please visit

To see some of her pictures click on


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