In 2002 I was walking out of the “Q” line subway at Canal Street and saw a woman selling quarter size red-eared slider turtles in clear plastic boxes with palm trees, just like the ones my mom bought me 40 years ago. Back then we got the turtles at the Ben Franklin store in Whitehall, MI. The turtles were on a wall with other pets, one most vivid in my memory was a baby alligator. Of all the pets, she never let me get the baby alligator no matter how much I begged. The red-eared sliders never seemed to grow much larger than a quarter before they died, but this one I was going to do my best to keep alive.
I walked to my studio, then on Suffolk Street, on the Lower East Side of Manhattan. I was grinning ear to ear with my new turtle. I would call him “Seamore” as in the “Sea”, water, and “more”, wanting more of it. It helps having dyslexia to put such names, words and letter together that make perfect sense to me.
I put Seamore in my dearly departed dog’s water dish that I have kept around and filled it with distilled water. For the first year I kept him only in distilled water and hand fed him “turtle pellets.” Seamore grew. In fact today Seamore is 12″ in diameter and lives in a 60 gallon long tank with a basking light and water to swim.
Seamore is wildly friendly. He will follow people around, climb into their laps and ask to to pet. He will climb into the dogs bagel shaped bolster bed with them and hang out. No one believes this until they come over.
When Conrad was a puppy he was not quite sure what to do with Homer, but he did try to play ball.
It seems only fitting that on his 13th birthday, Seamore have a print of his own. I carved the linoblock this afternoon and printed the 4″ x 6″ image on 8″ x 10″ paper. There are 10 prints available on Etsy for $20.
Seamore, my friendly turtle is currently keeping my friend Lisa company in the Bronx.
My store on Etsy is titled: https://www.etsy.com/shop/StoneTriggerPress