Mama said that I was thenceforth to be her nephew, and to call her Aunt Dora. She said our fortune depended on her not having a son as old as eighteen who looked more like twenty. Say Aunt Dora, she said. I said it. She was not satisﬁed. She made me say it several times. She said I must say it believing she had taken me in since the death of her widowed brother, Horace. I said, I didn’t know you had a brother named Horace. Of course I don’t, she said with an amused glance at me. But it must be a good story if I could fool his son with it.
From Sweet Land Stories by E.L. Doctorow
I think about this book at least once a week. You can read the first story here.
The painting is called Miner’s Shack in the Mountains by Helen Forbes. Yes, I know it’s a mountain scene, I just liked it. Helen Forbes lived and painted by herself in a deserted hotel in Death Valley during the 1930’s.