The story of how John and Anna met is a tale that their grandchildren love to hear retold. Both were studying at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh – Anna as an undergraduate student in art, and John as a graduate student in physics – when they happened to be at the same place at the same time.
“I remember it well – I first saw her on a streetcar,” John said.
“And then he went home and told his mother, ‘I just saw my future wife,’” Anna said.
Even though John’s mind was made up, the two wouldn’t cross paths again until almost a year later. John was hiring for an assistant to work with him on an experiment, and Anna came in for an interview. Needless to say, Anna got the job, and soon after John asked her out.
“He asked me for a date playing tennis – very expensive and exotic,” Anna joked. “We were married within a few months.”
John, from Aliquippa, finished his degree and went on to be a professor at CMU. He and Anna, who is from Mt. Washington, had two children, Anne and John, and it wasn’t until they were grown that Anna really got into art again.
“I went back to painting around 1990,” Anna said. “When John saw me painting, he thought that he would like to try it. It turns out he became very good at it, and we both painted from about 1990 to 2015.”
Anna’s favorite medium was water mixable oil paint, because John is allergic to regular oil paint, and John used the same oils as well as doing many pencil drawings.
“We started entering local art shows, and we would have a lot of fun,” Anna said. “We would get to go see if either of us had won any prizes, and we won almost every time.”
They entered art shows in Saxonburg, Monroeville, Penn Hills and Freeport – just to name a few – as well as entering the more prestigious Southwestern Pennsylvania show. Anna also occasionally sold paintings at the shows.
The two are featured three times in Concordia’s 2020 calendar: John in February, and Anna on the cover and in October. John’s February painting is titled “The Intruder” and features a still life with three mice in it.
“It didn’t have the three mice in it at first,” Anna said. “John thought it needed something else, and at that time we used to go to a lot of art shows and museums. He saw a painting by Will Wilson of the artist’s son eating cereal with mice watching him, so he thought some mice would add some interest.”
The cover painting of antique cars is titled “Old Beauties.” Anna had seen other paintings of cars at art shows, and painted this piece from a picture she took at an antique car show in Saxonburg, PA.
“They’re fun to paint – especially the reflections,” Anna said. “I like to find all the various shapes in them. I also usually make the background simple so the cars stand out.”
Anna’s October painting is “Autumn Walk” and is based off a photo she took of John while they were out one day.
“I mostly painted from photos that I took,” Anna said. “We weren’t allowed to enter the shows unless we were painting from our own photos.”
After many years in their home in O’Hare Township, John and Anna decided it was time to make a move. They came to Highpointe at Rebecca a little under a year and a half ago after a friend from church moved in and recommended it.
“We love it here,” Anna said. “The setting is beautiful.”
John and Anna also like to go down to dinner to spend time with their friends and neighbors.
“I really like the people here,” Anna said. “Everyone is just very nice to one another.”
To learn more about the retirement living options offered at Highpointe at Rebecca in Allison Park, PA, visit www.HighpointeRebecca.org or schedule a tour today. Call 724-444-1521 or message us through the Contact Form on our website. To request a free copy of the 2020 Concordia Calendar, “Brush Strokes 2,” call the Public Relations Department at 724-352-1571, ext. 8268.