My father and Brazilian Air Force plane, 1950's
In the 1950's my father worked for the State Department. He travelled the world, had adventures, and brought home interesting things. Many years later, living in San Francisco, he retired for medical reasons. He continued to consult with the Environmental Protection Agency, his employer since 1970, and occasionally manned his friend's high-end antique store, while the friend, a CIA operative, went on missions. (True story.) He and my stepmother also had an antique business, and he was a master of high-low--mixing expensive items with those found at flea markets and garage sales. I have fond memories of accompanying him to the Alameda, Marin, and San Jose flea markets.
My father (sunglasses) and Secretary of State Dulles
In the early 80's they moved to a little house in Yountville California--it was packed with collections. He died in 2006, and after my stepmother died in 2010 (an event that led almost directly to me opening the store--see here) I had to choose what I wanted from their house. I took some special things for my children. For myself the things I wanted were mostly on the flea market end of things--including a large collection of wood-slice paintings he'd picked up here and there. I have about thirty landscapes--lakes, mountains, and so forth, in our Catskills house. I put a few for sale in the store.
This one, of Mission San Luis Obispo, California, I put in the Etsy store, thinking it might appeal to someone who lives there or collects items relating to missions.
Today, I got this message: "I live in San Luis Obispo and I have recently been put in charge of my elementary school's silent auction fundraiser and was hoping you might be interested in donating this piece. I just had to ask because I really love the idea of bringing this painting "home" and think it would be a huge hit in our auction. We are a terrific little elementary school..."
I wrote back that I would be happy to donate it. My father would have enjoyed the travels of this little work of art created in San Luis Obispo in 1946 that wound up in Yountville California in the 1980's, Massachusetts in 2011 and is now going back to San Luis Obispo on a mission to raise money for an elementary school.