7249 B Radbourne Road

North Wall of the Main Gallery at the Main Line Art Center displays (far left to right) A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood, 7249 B, Urban Corner and Studio 7.

7248 B – 72" x 30" acrylic on canvas, 2008*

Temporarily living in the back bedroom of a house on N. 13th Street in Philadelphia, with no employment prospects,my father convinced a wealthy friend to support the entry of my mother into the music business. The friend, my godfather, had always enjoyed my “Marjorie’s” piano stylings developed over many years of lessons as a child, and a love for the music of her time: Gershwin, Rogers and Hart, Irving Berlin, Cole Porter and other composers of the late 1920s and 1930s.

The investment required a move to a location where a piano could be rented, photos taken, new cocktail dresses bought, a car procured, union dues, an agent to be paid, and some money to support us while my mother learned new music and found local employment opportunities.

In the summer of 1956 we moved to a neighborhood of cottage apartments located on Radbourne Road in Stonehurst. The apartment (shown above) was small and had only an 8' a 14' living room, a smaller bedroom a tiny kitchen with a booth for dining, and a powder room sized bath. A piano was brought in and sheet music purchased including the scores of My Fair Lady, West Side Story, The Most Happy Fellow, along with popular songs of the era including Love Me Tender, from the movie of the same name, and Que Sera Sera from The Jimmy Stewart film, The Man Who Knew Too Much.
Urban Corner - 18" x 24"
acrylic on canvas*

My mother enrolled me into the 4th grade class of Stonehurst Hills School, and it seemed that some kind of normality might be found in our lives.

As it turned out, my mother only played a one night gig at a club named the “Driftwood Room” in West Philadelphia. She returned home nervous and discouraged, as she had been asked to chat up strangers as well as play her music. She was just too anxious to cope with it, and never returned.

I don’t know if she got paid for the evening, but we soon ran out
Studio 7 -26" x 36" - acrylic on canvas*

of money. The leased car, loaned by my godfather, was sold illegally by my father; the piano was taken away; and my mother ended up working part time at a card shop for $1 per hour. To stay afloat, my mother borrowed money from relatives, and my father came up with schemes to get money from people he would meet in bars and on his journeys.

For an exhibition at the Newman & Saunders Galleries in 2009, I painted a tour of my life entitled Connections: From the Inner City to the Outer Main Line, and returned to the apartment complex and photographed it for the painting. The windows and balcony door had been changed over the years, but everything else remained much the same as it did when we moved there in 1956, except that it was a little more run-down than I remembered it.

The painting portrays a quaint Spanish style complex on a summer day, unravaged by the years. The door leading to our apartment, and three others, is identified by the name of the main unit, with our apartment located at top left.

Surrounding the 7249 B at the exhibit, at the Main Line Art Center, are two other paintings from that same  series, located in West Philadelphia, not far from the 69th Street neighborhood I lived in from the ages of 14 to 25. To the far left is a 20' mural recently painted of Fernon Street in South Philadelphia (to be discussed later).

We remained at 7249 B until 1964, when my mother and I  moved to an apartment on Richfield Road, parallel to 69th Street, and quite near to the famous Tower Theater.

–– George Rothacker

The Diverse Artistic Universe of George H. RothackerA Memoir is available at Amazon. Click here for paperback or Kindle version. Please review the book if you like it!

*Giclée prints on 17" x 22" matte finish stock are available by clicking the Add to Cart buttons below the images above. 6% sales tax is added as well as a $9.75 shipping and packaging charge. If you choose to pick the print up at the art center, the shipping charge charged to you will be donated to the location where you picked up your print. We will notify you by email when they are ready.

Paintings are available of all works shown at the Main Line Art Center, but must be picked up and paid for with a check or credit card to the art center.

1/3 of the purchase price of all sales will be forwarded to the Media Fellowship House Chester Student Scholarship Fund through the Dorothy James Scholarship Fund.

Also please call, or email me with regards to the schedule of events at the two art centers. Any and all will follow Covid-19 guidelines. I will respond to all emails and calls.


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