My Mom The late and great Doris Smolenski
On the 21st of March 2016, I lost the most important person in my life, my only real friend, my mother Doris Smolenski. I am devastated and unsure what my plans for the future are. I was taking care of her for the last bunch of years exclusively, except for the help of her amazing doctors and therapist.  I miss my awesome friend and mother more than words can describe.
She was born in 1927, in a one room shack with no running water and an "outdoor john". I didn't know my grandparents but I think she was one of 11 kids living in that place.See the picture I took of it below. It has recently been torn down. When they were finally able to move to another place with water and heat, etc., her mother died from a cerebral hemorrhage when she was just 14 years old. Her father took the youngest kid and split for Florida, leaving behind my 14 year old mom to fend for herself.
She somehow found an amazing husband, My Father Walter A. Smolenski. They were perfect for each other. They were married for more than 50 years. They had a really strange kid who played all kinds of music and painted some of the craziest abstract paintings in the world. (
She always wanted to be a teacher, but circumstances prevented her from going beyond 7th grade. Her mother was dead, her father had abandoned her. She got special permission to be signed out of school and get a job at 14 years old. I feel so lucky to have been able to spend 54 years with my mom. She worked at various jobs including the Pro Brush Factory in Florence, but her best job was when she became "THE Lunch Lady" at the former South St. School. There she was loved by all the students and teachers. She worked hard to make sure the kids were okay on the playground and helped out anyone in any way she could
Doris was an amazing cook. I will never forget the Thanksgiving dinners she would make. I would help her put a 27 pound turkey in the oven at midnight..... slow cooked and basted all night until around noon the next day. I'd wake up to the amazing smell of the food, and my Dad would have the parade on the TV. Such good times. So comfortable and safe.. She would make huge pans of golumpkis, and give them to everyone in the neighborhood. Now unfortunately her secret recipe is lost forever. She did not write it down. A loss for the entire world right there. I'll never have a meal half as good as anything my Mom ever made for me.  My Dad and I had a huge garden. One year we had 27 different varieties of tomatoes, which we also gave away to all the neighbors. He used to cook chicken outdoors on the grill rotating around on Sundays. I'd ride my bike up and down the street until it was ready. You could smell the aroma all over the street, of the chicken, the fresh mowed lawn, other people cooking out. The great old days. Unfortunately there will never be anything like that again. Everything is so weird and different now. I don't even know any of the people who live near me now. All the old timers are gone.
It's a completely different kind of scene now. Not even close to how cool it used to be here. At least I still have Arcadia, and the  Oxbow.

I was born with birth defects. More than 50 tumors. When I was in the hospital having my bones chopped up as a kid who do you think was with me the whole time? Yes, my Mom. My Dad was there less because he had to work. He was an experimental plastics injection molding expert. He made the mold for the Etch -A- Sketch, a cool art toy that a lot of us old timers remember. He also did the case for the first Texas Instruments computer and many other great projects. He sometimes  had to borrow money from loan sharks to pay for my operations. He was a purple heart veteran of WWII, and a kind and interesting person who you could really trust. He taught me important lessons which I live by today. Right before he died he woke up and gave me "the look" and got out the words "You will have to take care of her. " He trusted me to watch out for my mother- his wife, which I then went into full gear for the next 12.5 years. I put all my art, music and writing on hold, and would gladly do it all again. She bought me my first guitar when I was in 5th grade. A no-name guitar with nylon stings (was easier on my tumor hand) from a dept. store for 12 dollars. I still have it today. It's a great guitar. The only thing it says on it is No. 7. That's so cool. She would sing songs for me to practice to, in hopes it would help my hand. It did, and I can play anything on the guitar, with little to no hand pain even to this day. My Dad also encouraged my music. The 3 of us constantly listened to all kinds of music. Our favorite was one Mr. Johnny Cash. First concert I ever saw. Hartford Civic Center, right before the roof collapsed. 
I started painting abstract paintings seriously in high school. Very odd and totally unique style. I really started getting into it in a big way. Because of my Mom and Dad I got to paint in some great studios. Florence, Easthampton, Shelburne Falls, home studio. I remember I was setting up the stage a couple hours before a major show, as I play set of music at all my art shows. I got a tap on the shoulder, turned to see them there. My Dad said "We don't know what it is you are doing (abstract painting), but we see how seriously you take it, and it looks great. And shit you have like 80 people here already and the show's not for a few hours...." One of the best things anyone ever said to me. That night 800 people descended upon the venue. The TV 22 news covered it. It got completely out of control at some point. The guy that got me the show was fired the next day with a huge list of reasons why. They were not prepared for a show of that scope. That was so much fun. Best part was my Mom and Dad recognized my work as being something valid, and good. 
-I would have never been an artist and musician without your support, and I thank you so very much for the interesting life you gave me. I swear that I did it all for you. Both of you. And I will keep at it in your honor.-
The last few years of my Mom's life was great except for a couple things. She had some medical issues, and needed extra help. It was way more than payback time. The rest of the family tried to stick her in a nursing home (long painful story), but I wouldn't let them. I took care of her 24/7. We had a great time. I got her a medical weed card at age 86, and she loved it. Cured everything that was wrong with her except her heart was damaged by rheumatic fever as a child. It finally got her at almost 88. She had suffered from a very bad AFIB her whole life. The doctors said she was the poster child for medical marijuana. They were amazed by how much it helped her. And it was so much fun getting baked with my 87 year old Mom.  She would watch all her favorite shows on TV. Some, like Little House On the Prairie, and The Walton's, resembled her early life. When she started vaping weed she started getting into Greek mythology and science shows. It was an amazing time in both of our lives. I'd give anything to have that back.
-Without your love and kindness I would be nothing. Everything I ever learned was from you and Dad. Everything I did was to try and impress you both. I wanted you to know you could be unconventional and still be a good and successful person. I hope that you knew that. I can't thank you enough for the incredible support and how amazing and beautiful people you were. You were absolutely the greatest mother and father ever. I love you both. I will never forget you. I will never do anything to dishonor your incredible care and help that you gave me.-
-I could go on writing about you forever. but I am going to save those memories. Please just know I hope you are together again somehow, and are doing very well an that I love you both and will never forget you or what you did for me. I hope there is a heaven of sorts because you will be there for sure. Please say hello and thank you to my brother Jeremy Schriber who I also hope you met up with. I'm sure I'll be seeing you all again very soon.-
I am playing a special memorial concert for my Mom on March 21st, the day she died.
- Every song I ever play, is for you. I love you, I miss you so much, and I think about you every day.-
-Thank you so much for the "Phone Call From The Other Side".... and the orange birthday candle after you died.-
Things will never be the same without you.
Miss you tremendously. 
Your son,
Peter M. Smolenski

Photo "Tear Staned 3D Glasses"(c) Copyright 2016 Doris Smolenski
This is the last photo she ever took. My Dad in the bottom right hand corner .Walter Smolenski. This was the last photo I took of him. He died in the VA hospital right before the Boston Red Socks finally won the whole fuckin' thing. He waited his whole life to see it and just missed it. People told me he broke the curse to try and make me feel better.
doris smolenski, walter smolenski,  walt smolenski, peter smolenski, doris smolenski, walter smolenski,   walt smolenski,peter smolenski,  
My Dad shoved this song into my head 12 years after he died,about 7 months months after my mom died. He came to me in a dream as Buddha and told me 2x "Phone call from the other side!" The second time with so much joy pouring out of him that it shook me awake and I had to run outside and wanted to rip my clothes off like I was being re-born or something. Two days later he told me  (from the other side)  to "get in there and record a song for your mother" ) A few hours later I listened to what me and my Dad who had been dead for 12 years record for her.
Phone Call From The Other Side Demo © 2016 Peter Smolenski and Walter A. Smolenski Sr. Written for my amazing  Mom Doris Smolenski Who Split the planet on March 21'st 2016
I am everything I am because of you. There is no song or recording of it good enough to thank you for everything you ever did for me. We took that picture when you came home…out in the backyard.
Doris Smolenski. Doris A. Smolenski. Walter Smolenski. Walter A.Smolenski. Peter Smolenski
  Doris Smolenski, Walt Walter Smolenski, Peter Smolenski
We took care of each other until the very end, which came too soon.
Doris Smolenski, Walter A. Smolensjki Peter Smolenski, Abstract Art Northampton, Ma
This is where it all began. She was born right there. The front part was added on much later. There were 11 kids in there.  Outdoor bathroom. No running water. She lived to be 88 and 3/4. It was known as "The Buddha" for some reason which I never knew and probably never will now.
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