Saturday, March 22, 2014

A Gift to Jo From Toot - A Large Ellie Bogardus Painting

I wish I were (was) the Butcher's Cat
One dollar and eighty-seven cents. That was all. And sixty cents of it was in pennies. Pennies saved one and two at a time by bulldozing the grocer and the vegetable man and the butcher until one's cheeks burned with the silent imputation of parsimony that such close dealing implied. Three times Della counted it. One dollar and eighty- seven cents. And the next day would be Christmas. O Henry - The Gift of the Magi

Mom was the huge Bogardus fan, and bought all but the large painting, which was an extremely surprising xmas gift to mom. As teachers, it was stretched their budget. 

How can you pass on this kind of a story - another Ellie Bogardus painting, on top of that, details about a collector family who were friends with the artist. Think of them as a nuclear family along with familial extensions who could be interviewed by an art curator for a magazine story, or have their own television reality series on Public Television.

The collectors' daughter originally contacted me about the family art pieces, and passed on choice bits of information about her family, and the acquisition of their paintings. The picture shown above has kind of a Magi story of its own:  

Dad bought the larger Bogardus for mom one Christmas in the early 1980s.  I remember he hung it up in the dining room, and on Christmas morning we blindfolded mom and led her down the hall for the great unveiling.  I have no idea how he snuck it into the house and managed to hang it without her knowledge.  (I know I have the series of photos of mom blindfolded and making her way closer and closer to the painting, and her sheer delight when she saw it - she never thought she'd own it because it was a real splurge for them back then.)  Dad had to saw the legs off the buffet table so the painting could fit exactly in the space between the buffet and the cupboards - you'll see.

There was also information about vacations in Cambria:  

Mom and dad rented the Rosenleib's house across from Ellie's whenever they could, and Bill and Teen (dad's sister) stayed a weekend a year or so with them. All the relatives loved to stay in Cambria, and the Rosenliebs made their house available and affordable to mom and dad. They befriended Ellie and enjoyed her company when they were in town.  I believe they had Ellie and her aunt over for cocktails when they were in town (I hope that's not a memory I accidentally created).

A question about me, and then more family information:

Are you in the Pacific Northwest? That's where mom and dad met. After he passed away in 1985, Teen and Bill got an honorary tile at Pike Place near the fish monger. It's for "Toot." I guess he never shook his nickname!

He came from a family of eight and his grandma called the youngest "Toot" till the next child was born. She passed away before the last child was born, so dad was stuck being "Toot" to his siblings and "Uncle "Toot" to his nieces and nephews.

And the daughter delivered the image of I Wish I Were the Butcher's Cat - a nice picture of the large painting. Now, a few more lines of background information imbedded in our exchange:

Yes, I gathered you had a personal connection to Cambria from your blog (which by the way I enjoyed).  I grew up in Bakersfield, and although dad taught high school (so summers were lean), they took us to Morro Bay as often as possible. As we grew older, we gravitated toward Cambria. Our most recent trip was for a long weekend last Mothers Day.

I'll take photos of the three paintings that are in my old bedroom (probably 12" x 12", maybe a little bigger), as well as the canvas above our stereo (same size) and the large painting over mom's buffet in the dining room.  All I really know is that they acquired the paintings over maybe ten years.  The large painting in the dining room is very much in the style of Matisse (The Shopkeeper's Cat).  I have no sense of size, but I can tell you the painting won't fit in anyone's car.

.... we're moving mom .... to San Diego, where I live. Crating and relocating the larger Bogardus will be an effort, but mom's house won't be her home without it. I love it very much too - she expressed sorrow that if she were gone, no one would want her large painting, and I quickly reassured her and made it clear I adore the painting and will treasure it - happily they'll both come to San Diego!

I'm glad you inadvertently cleared up the mystery of the Bogardus's (and Rosenlieb's) house for us. During the last visit, we drove around Cambria trying to find the homes, but nothing looked familiar. It's too bad the homes were demolished - I loved both of them.  I'm a traditionalist.  How nice for your parents to be able to spend time in their own home...what a lovely little town.  And I hope you're able to spend time there as well.

This is the kind of information that could be turned into a story - maybe even in the style of O. Henry. 
O. Henry
O. Henry, pseudonym of William Sydney Porter, original name William Sidney Porter was born Sept. 11, 1862 in Greensboro, N.C., and died June 5, 1910 in New York, N.Y. and was an American short-story writer whose tales romanticized the commonplace — in particular the life of ordinary people in New York City. His stories expressed the effect of coincidence on character through humor and often had surprise endings, a device that became identified with his name and cost him critical favor when its vogue had passed. More can be found about O. Henry by clicking here.

Monday, March 10, 2014

A Year Ago - Jimmy Page Sighting, Maybe

Possible Jimmy Page Sighting
When boarding a commuter plane near Melbourne to catch my flight home from Sydney later in the day, I spotted a fellow in line ahead of me who was the right age, size, maybe hair color....the kind of clothing a rock star on holiday would wear on a casual flight to the city. Could this be Jimmy Page from Led Zeppelin fame? No idea what he could have been doing - I was attending the Australian International Airshow, he checking out his own fighter jet?

Earlier in the past year, I came across a Zeppelin-Foo Fighters' hybrid version of Ramble On - one of the best on-line videos of all time (1). When viewing it the first time, I wondered, who is that neatly trimmed old man playing the bass? John Paul Jones. Obviously peace had been made from the time way back when he wasn't a part of the Page-Robert Plant touring days that were accentuated by that awkward time (at 6 minutes and 30 seconds) when the band was introduced at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Glad those days are past, and the great induction at the Kennedy Center Honors capped off by the cover of Stairway to Heaven - a lot of Heart showed that evening.

I bought more copies of Zeppelin albums (1) than any other performers because of the evolution of mobile audio players (cassette and eight track players), plus vinyl albums, and finally compact discs. It was for the birds to have bought the same album multiple times, but good music is good music.
(1) Notice the Orange Amplifiers on stage.
(2) My other top number of albums purchased artist: George Winston, but that is another story (only vinyl albums and CD's, multiple purchases, but not like Zeppelin).

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Alien Livestock Circles and High Elevation Pyramids

Odd formations in the sky. Snow-encrusted pyramids. Livestock circles where crop circles should be. What can this all mean? It should be noted, never before has photographic evidence been shown that demonstrates the possibility that extraterrestrials have, could, still do, or will occupy portions of the high elevation valleys in Rocky Mountains during the winter - a long time after the gold rush. The South Park Basin will never be the same - past, now, or future - regardless of long-running animated television series.

Odd formations in the sky
Exhibit 1. Trying to hide among cumulus clouds and jet aircraft contrails were large oblong- and elliptical-shaped water vapor bodies designed to serve as a kind of large-scale, aerial semaphore used to signal wait times in ski lift lines at various resorts around the region. This is so the spacecraft shuttle services flying in vacationers can ensure their inter-galactic patrons maximal time on the slopes - you don't want to spend 2.3 light years commuting to your destination, only to spend half your weekend looking at the backsides of other skiers in long ski lift lines.

Snow-encrusted pyramid
Exhibit 2. A modest series of pyramids on the east side of U.S. Route 285 are not as notable during the summer as in winter when snow helps accentuate their appearance. The dark brown aggregate skin over the underlying gold-titanium shell that houses the superstructure over 17 story deep cavernous underground city that resembles more a termite colony than a city of condominiums built in a converted old ICBM missile silo. The aggregate gives the appearance of a county roadside site used in summer for highway pavement repairs during periods of better weather than now. Time will tell whether validation of construction methods show whether there is a link to pyramids built centuries ago in the Andes Mountain highlands in South America.

Livestock Circle
Exhibit 3. Reports of aliens mutilating cattle in the region have been greatly exaggerated and the real cause of this cruelty remains unsolved. Science experts know that all aliens are peaceful or otherwise would have already dominated us with their superior intellects and technology. The likelihood of these folks doing harm is as unlikely as finding a true account of cow tipping - aliens also are not cow tippers. But aliens do take delight in using their patented rounding technology to cause bovines to walk aimlessly in circles on fresh fallen snow - forming the extraterrestrial version of snow angels.
A crop circle is a sizable pattern created by the flattening of a crop such as wheat, barley, rye, maize, or rapeseed. Crop circles are also referred to as crop formations because they are not always circular in shape. The documented cases have substantially increased from the 1970s to current times. In 1991, two hoaxers claimed authorship of many circles throughout England. Crop Circles. A creative literary description of man-made, of this planet, crop circles can be access by clicking here.
Note: Fictional accounts are given for information about these alien additions to the skies above and lands below the middle Rocky Mountains. Such accounts follow in the tradition of an earlier post describing designs across the Iowa landscape.