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Geez… I go to flea markets all the time. Why don’t I find Renoirs?

 

Take a look at this WaPo article:

“A ‘lost’ landscape thought to have been painted by Pierre-Auguste Renoir will go on the auction block Sept. 29 on behalf of the Baltimore-born woman who purchased the artwork at a West Virginia flea market for $7. ‘Paysage Bords de Seine,’ a 6-inch by 10-inch canvas dating from about 1879, is expected to fetch $75,000 to $100,000, according to … the Alexandria, Va., auction house overseeing the sale. She said that it’s one of several depictions of the river Seine that the French Impressionist master created near the towns of Bougival and Chatou.

“The Virginia-based buyer, who prefers to remain anonymous, purchased a box of odds and ends at a flea market just across the West Virginia state line and near her home in the Shenandoah Valley in late 2010 or early 2011. She didn’t much care for the painting and said she would never have bid on it if the other stuff in the box hadn’t caught her eye.

“There was a plastic cow that grabbed me, and a Paul Bunyan doll,” said the woman, who lived in Baltimore until she was 4 years old. “And I liked the frame. It was gold and ornate. I thought I could use it for something else if I cut out the painting.”

Mary McCauley of the Washington Post

And here’s the assumed Renoir:

I don’t think I would even have bought it FOR the frame. But a PLASTIC COW! That should have been worth something!

 

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Earthquake.

West to Chicago, and down south as well. New York, Philadelphia, Washington DC and Baltimore closed their airports until things could be straightened out.

And I didn’t feel it!

When it hit I was driving up the long, bumpy dirt road to the Folly which always has the feeling that the earth is moving when you bump along on it. But when I pulled into the Folly, Bradley and Carol had just come out of their house which had been shaking for a few seconds and Ben Snyder, who was working at the shops, felt it as he put together Carnival stuff.

The news says it was a 5.9 on the Richter scale (other reports say 5.8) and they are expecting smaller aftershocks over the next few weeks, perhaps at a 4.8 on the scale.

We are apparently over something called the Virginia Fault. It is about 4.5 miles down and is in the midst of the shale deposits that run up through the Appalachians, so any quake reverberates up and down the geographic mass.

The last time we had a quake of this magnitude here was in the 1890’s… and we had a much smaller one in 2010.

Life, however, goes on… and this was much more fun than covering Republicans.

Getting a late start on the blog today…

Bill & Elly Wide Awake

Elly and I had to get up at 6AM today, eat, walk the dogs and head for Baltimore to BWI to pick up our grandson Milo who flew in from Connecticut to visit his Aunt Penny and our other three grandchildren. We had to get to the airport, which is an hour and a half away from us at least, 45 minutes before his plane lands so that one of us (me) can get the consent papers to pick him up, go through the x-ray and search procedures to get down to the gate and then wait for his arrival.

Then we had to reverse direction and get him to Penny’s house for lunch. In all it took about 6 1/2 hours out of our day and now I’m back and can start posting and reading everyone else’s posts.

So give me some time to see what’s going on and I’ll get right back to you.

If you are in Baltimore on September 19th…

Frank Zappa statue to be dedicated on Sunday, September 19 at the Southeast Anchor Branch of the Enoch Pratt Free Library located at 3601 Eastern Avenue. Community support is developing for a concert on the installation day… maybe Dweezil and Company will be there.

The sculpture is a gift to the city of Baltimore orchestrated by three guys from Lithuania: Saulius Paukstys, Saulius Pilinkus and Arturas Baublys. It is a replica of the bust of Frank Zappa installed in Vilnius (pictured here), created by artist Konstantinas Bogdanas. The gift and location were approved by the Baltimore City Public Art Commission and sanctioned by the family.

Legendary musician and composer Frank Zappa was born in Baltimore in 1940 and passed away in 1993, at home in Los Angeles. He is internationally recognized as one of the most innovative composers and musicians of the 20th century with a career spanning more than 30 years.

Of interesting note: The date itself is especially significant as September 19th is the anniversary of Zappa‚s 1985 testimony on Capitol Hill in favor of free expression by Recording Artists at the Senate hearing instigated by certain congressional wives (members of the PMRC) concerning record labeling. Frank Zappa‚s widow Gail commented on the remarkable coincidence:

“Frank’s legacy rests in his uncompromising defense of the First Amendment and his uncompromising pursuit of excellence clearly demonstrated in the standards he set in all areas of Music and the arts and sciences associated with it.”

Dr. Flowers Arrested Outside Republican Conference Trying to get Medicare Message to Obama…

Courtesy of William Hughes Presents on YouTube:

On Jan. 29, 2010, Doctors Margaret Flowers and Carol Paris were arrested outside a hotel, at the Inner Harbor, in Baltimore, MD, where President Barack Obama was to give a speech. They were on a sidewalk outside the Renaissance hotel holding a banner. The doctors had a letter that they wanted to give to the President and/or one of his aides, re: Medicare for All. They were arrested for trespassing, according to to a police officer at the scene. Later after getting into a police car, this reporter was advised, the two doctors were released, without going to the local lockup. Each was then given” a citation” for trespassing. For background on this issue, check out Dr. Flowers visit to the White House, on Jan. 28, 2010, at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xxziSR…

Opera and Communities…

I was so sorry to read the article in Opera News about the bankruptcy and fall of the Baltimore Opera, especially after last winter’s closure of the Connecticut Opera. Both of these companies had served for around six decades, through times of triumph and times of desperation, only to be destroyed by this wretched economy and threadbare community support.

I say this as I prepare The Hunting Of The Snark, the opera for children that Ed Roberts composed and that I was librettist  and director on back in the early 70s in NYC, for it’s February production at Full Circle Theater in Shepherdstown.

While I know we can push this as “children’s theatre” or as a “family piece”, in the long run it is sung drama in operatic form … opera … and it is anyone’s guess how this community will respond to it.