Not long out of college, I did a few oil paintings of these local scenes. Attorneys purchased a few and displayed the collection in their Jersey shore office.
Fast forward a few years, I was doing laundry and the washer broke mid-cycle. I lugged the heavy soapy load to the laundromat. It was June and I was sitting outside on a bench when these guys pulled up in a convertible. Blocking the street, the driver looked over and said hi. I was single and he seemed funny and harmless enough so when he asked, I gave him my number. We ended up dating for a while before becoming friends.
He’s a rower. One of the paintings in the lawyers’ collection was of a boat he actually rowed. Even with all our rowing conversations, it just never occurred to me to mention those paintings.
Eventually we lost touch. I was living thirty-some miles north when I heard from him out of the blue. Life happened and he’d found himself in that lawyers’ office. He actually made out my mess of a signature and called me up to ask if it was my work. I can’t tell you how good it felt to know that someone, someone I’m so fond of, felt compelled to really look at a piece of my work… without even knowing it was mine.
I was stunned.
Plus, I think it’s kind of cool that I painted something so far out of my element that’d be so connected to someone I’d get to connect with in the future. It was moving… so much life poetry.
I have tons of these kinds of stories. Maybe they happen because I’m looking for them. Whatever. Thinking of it still makes me smile.