Friday, October 2, 2015

Bye, Bye Old Easel

this Julian French Easel (with an Italian maker on it) was a prize possession of mine that was purchased in Italy (I think it was in the City of Milan) on a grand tour in 1963. Mom and I had acquired a Mercedes from the factory and we picked it up in Switzerland. You could do that in those days, and get a nice car for much cheaper than buying it in the US especially if you used it for transportation around Europe. The plan was to ship the car back to the US on a freighter that would dock in New York or New Jersey sometime after we arrived home by air. I was on a buying spree all over Europe and I had a fantastic time getting some wonderful items, this easel was one of them. I used it too. All over the US on various trips, and on the boat we lived on as well. 
I am sitting beside the Snake River in Wyoming, outside of Jackson Hole, having a nice time with my easel and my painting! We were on one of our many criss-crossings of the US in our RV or car. 

The backstory of that grand trip ended with my mother becoming extremely ill in France as we were heading for the drop off of the car. I knew I had to get her home immediately. I had the easel, lots of other art supplies, and a set of pottery I had bought in Picasso's hometown of Valauris in southern France, in the trunk of the car as well as luggage and other flotsam and jetsam. I drove directly to the airport and went to the Pan Am ticket booth to get Mom on the next plane to New York. The manager of the ticket counter came to help me and the upshot of the whole thing was that he wouldn't let Mom go alone and he said he would drive our car to Le Havre himself and put it on the freighter. Mom was so sick we decided to take him up on the offer and with some misgivings about giving up all my goodies in the truck, perhaps never to be seen again, we boarded the next plane to JFK. We were met at the airport and Mom was driven to the hospital where she was treated for pneumonia and other bronchial problems. About a month later the car arrived with all the goodies intact in the trunk just as I left it. My father sent a commendation to Pan Am and evidently that lovely man was given a promotion.

The poor old easel started to fail some years ago and it was hard to set up, and the hardware was banged up and didn't work very well. In time I stopped using it, preferring other folding easels that were more flexible and easy to tote around. For the past 3 or 4 years the Julian has been on my outside porch which is open to the weather and it has suffered much in neglect and abandonment. It has taken me 2 years of weekly trash pickups to finally get the easel off to the landfill. It was a very sad day yesterday when the trash men picked up the Julian and put it in the truck, not to be seen again. Boo-hoo.  

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