Back then, in 1992, when i was young, my parents took over a restaurant in Ratingen. In the catering trade they had only experiences as cook and waiter, but they did it anyway. My mother did the waitressing and my father did the cooking. This was really hard for them, especially physically, and not worth it.
After six years, in 1998, we closed “Lotus Garden” and moved back to the place i was born: Bad Godesberg, a district of Bonn, in West Germany. But in hindsight it was not that bad, because of the nice people who occasionally took care of me, like my neighbour and the widow. My parents were busy with the restaurant, and they must have known that i needed more than myself.
My neighbour was graphic artist at a advertising agency in Düsseldorf, and she is the one who inspired me to make art. For example, with illustrated books as gifts, or by showing me her own work. She often invited me to eat ice cream too. The old widow took me to some of her cultural events, where i got to know that there is always more to see and learn. And i will not forget, how she helped us with many other things, like translating for my parents. Without them i would be someone else. I wish i had done more with the opportunities, something that would have lasted into the present. I just didn’t know better.
My neighbour tried once to hook me up with a pretty girl, but i have done nothing, didn’t feel the need for it, because i was too busy with myself. We still kept sending us letters, till she was suddenly gone. Since then, i never had this kind of relationship anymore. It was loyal, unique and special for me, even after all this time we moved away from each other. Every letter and postcard with her artwork was like a gentle pull to the direction i went.
Thank you to Susan Flatow, also known as Pan Hsiao Ming, her son Helge Kaminsky-Flatow, for making me learn, and Hedda Beilke, for my love to make art. May both ladies rest in peace.