By Arthur H. Gunther III
“Unfinished Story,” the title of this painting inspired by an old doorway on Piermont Avenue in the Hudson River village, speaks for itself. We all have unfinished stories.
When I spotted the doorway in Piermont, N.Y., once a railroad town, then a factory town and now a sought-after waterfront residential and weekend-visitor town, I wondered about all the blue-collar workers who grabbed that well-worn doorknob after a hard shift at Clevepak or Gair or Federal Paperboard. Supper and the paper might soon be ready upstairs. I thought about youngsters who chased siblings to be the first to open the door, which led to an apartment over one of the community stores once common on American main streets.
Then there was the question: Did a young man, just drafted in World War II, pull on the doorknob for the last time as he headed for Piermont pier and a troop transport? Piermont, like just about every American town, lost its own then, before then and since then in the wars of the world.
When I painted the doorway, I added a female figure going up the stairway, having opened the door but also having ignored a note to her, “To Cora,” slipped between the door and the jamb.
Another unfinished story.
The writer is a retired newspaperman who can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org