I suppose not that many people save rejection notes but I’m glad that I framed this one from 1966. On cream-coloured card stock with the address, Borgo Albizi, Firenze, I am told in the nicest possible way by Pietro Annigoni that he must turn down my request to be a student of his because he is travelling a great deal and does not have time for any serious teaching.
It is dramatic to come, as we did, from the beautiful fiords of Norway to the severe lumpy landscape of Iceland. Iceland is a volcanic island, strafed with holes blowing steam and hot water. Although this strange country does have some ice (glaciers), most of the land is clothed in moss and miniature trees. There is an Icelandic joke (and I am convinced possibly the only Icelandic humour is formed in a riddle): If you are lost in an Icelandic forest, what do you do? Just stand up.
Want to score $5 million? On March 18, 1990 the Gardner Museum in Boston was robbed by two unknown white males dressed in police uniforms and identifying themselves as Boston Police Officers. They stole several pieces worth more than $300 million. A $5 million reward is offered for the safe recovery of all stolen items in good condition.
I know a man whose job for Sears Canada included travelling around the world with a Polaroid camera. He was looking to spot coming trends in clothes. It was he who decided what the colours in their merchandise would be for next year. Returning to Toronto with these photos, he would be able to instruct the buyers on what to order for the coming year.
A recent article in the news told of a soon to be raised wreck of a 17th century British ship, purportedly laden with tons of gold coins valued at four billion dollars U.S. This craft was on its way to secure the loyalty of the Duke of Savoy against the expansionist plans of the Sun King. Interestingly, the site of this wreck was simply stated as “off Gibraltar”, which leaves a great deal of open water as possible locations.
A house along the coastline has a unique quality. It is only there that the neighbourhood changes on an ongoing basis. Any other view stays constant, but on the coast, the sight transforms with new neighbours coming and going all the time. If you are fortunate enough to live near a port, a small one, not a huge, stinking, blackened destination, you can enjoy the visual entertainment of visitors from around the world.
“Kronberg,” Marilyn wrote in her scrapbook, “is on my shortlist of beautiful and romantic places along with Niagara-on-the-Lake”. Medieval timbered houses crowd along the narrow streets like eager fans in a queue for tickets. Here and there, trees create a small shaded footprint beside a white-washed building. Courtyards with murmuring fountains provide a quiet respite from crowded streets. We stayed here, only fifteen kilometers from Frankfurt, before we travelled east to Coburg to meet with the designers from the Goebel Porcelain Company.
The first time that we visited Paris we were fresh off the train from Le Havre. I was twenty-two years old and eager to see “The City of Lights”, but without the slightest background knowledge about this capital. Art college was just behind me, and with my new bride and her brother and his new wife, we were off to enjoy something. We didn’t know what that something was, but we were positive in our attitude.