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Stolen Paintings

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Feb. 14, 2015: This quote is from today’s Globe and Mail:

“Toronto police are investigating the recent theft of three paintings from the University of Toronto, including one by the 18th-century Italian master Francesco Guardi, two of whose works have sold for tens of millions of dollars at auction in the last four years.
At this stage, police believe the thefts, done between Jan. 30 and Feb. 10, are likely the work of the same person, a spokesperson said Friday. The Guardi, a Venetian view painting titled Church of Santa Maria della Salute, was taken from Trinity College on a date a Trinity official declined to reveal Friday. The others – Morning at Peggy’s Cove by William E. deGarthe and Credit River by Yee Bon – were removed on, respectively, Feb. 3 and the Feb. 7-8 weekend from Victoria University, according to Gillian Pearson, curator of the collection. In each instance, the thief or thieves left the painting’s frame behind.”
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I have a painting of Peggy’s Cove right inside my front door (in the so-called “foyer.”) My painting of Peggy’s Cove is by deGarthe.
The provenance of this painting is as follows.

Back in the old days (1962-3?) when the Thorncliffe Marketplace was young and new, and so was Thorncliffe Park itself, my cousin Libby (Elizabeth Smith, daughter of uncle Kenneth M. Smith) opened an art store in the Thorncliffe Marketplace (indoor shopping centre.) She sold art supplies, and original paintings. She had attended what is now OCAD (Ontario College of Art and Design) and was herself a very gifted artist. Someday I will post the pencil drawing she did of me before I was even a teenager. My best guess would be that this store adventure was when my daughter Anne was a new baby that I pushed to the mall in her carriage. But I digress.

Uncle Ken wanted to see his daughter succeed in her art store business, and so he somehow facilitated the visit of the artist Wm.deGarthe to Toronto to be (briefly) the ‘artist in residence’ while Libby was his agent in Toronto, displaying and selling his paintings from her store. DeGarthe painted a lot in Nova Scotia (I have never looked up his bio) which may have been why Uncle Ken was enamored of his work. (My Mother and all her siblings were born in Halifax.)

Being a new mom on a budget, and having retired (pregnant women teachers were required to quit their teaching jobs – I had lost my contract!) with no income of my own, I drooled over the paintings that I could not afford. One day Uncle Ken was in the store when I was there, looking around and (I must confess) fondling some of the paintings. I had been to Peggy’s Cove with my parents on our Nova Scotia trip, which I think was in 1950 (IIRC!) I’d fallen in love with Peggy’s Cove, and deGarthe’s paintings captured the seaside atmosphere perfectly. That day, Uncle Ken bought a deGarthe painting for me as a gift, and I have treasured it ever since (because of all the back-story which I have just related.)

So today I opened The Globe and Mail and found one of his paintings has been stolen, from Victoria College’s library! I don’t remember a deGarthe in the Vic Library when I was a Vic student, but the article this morning tells the reader that Vic received the painting as a bequest. I do know that this painting of mine has some value, but not much. DeGarthe was a second-rank Canadian painter in the larger scheme of things.That is, he was no Tom Thomson. But he WAS Canadian and that was enough for me. My painting (framed for me by cousin Libby) is 16 cm by 21 cm. Not worth a lot, but something. Maybe $500. Since I know what it cost Uncle Ken ($45), I would say the painting has appreciated quite nicely.

But most importantly, I enjoy my painting as much for the story of how it came to live with me as much as I appreciate having ‘Peggy’s Cove in the fog’ living in my home. I have been to Peggy’s Cove three times, and so I love my painting just for the memories of “Peggy’s” that it creates. My painting may have a title but I can’t see it. When Libby framed it for me, she covered the entire back of the painting with protective paper. So I just refer to it as ‘my Peggy’s Cove painting’ or as ‘my deGarthe.’ The painting is a little over 50 years old now. I have enjoyed it every day of that half-century. I hope that somewhere, deGarthe is glad that people still enjoy his work.

February

It was the afternoon I have been waiting for: a little energy (me), slightly warmer air temperature, no wind, and afternoon sunshine, shining on my car.
I had to do it today: time to clear the snow off Pearl. I had not been out to my car in 3 weeks (at least), having been holed up in here, day after day.
I donned all my heavy winter gear: tights under jeans, 2 warm sweaters, 1 down coat (ankle length), 2 scarves, warm hat, gloves, and snow boots.
Hey, it’s Canada in winter here. Thus bundled up, I left Spike sleeping at home and I went out to the parking lot to liberate my Beetle, aka Pearl.
She was buried in snow (no surprise there) and I set to work.

It took me 45 minutes to get all the snow and ice brushed/scraped off.
In winter I always back into my parking space, just to be ready for days like this. The afternoon sun in the west melts residual snow/ice on Pearl’s windshield, and helps me get her cleared. Her tires are sort of frozen to the ground today. I was prepared for that, as my tablemate Joan had already told me hers were frozen too. I tried backing up a bit and that worked, so I did a little rocking. Did not leave the parking space, lol.
But at least Pearl is now cleaned off from the snow and ice deposited by the January storms. I’m expecting more storms/snow/ice before we see the last of February.
Can’t wait for spring!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Libby, October, 2014 - Version 2

Had a great Thanksgiving dinner here at the residence, and all my family attended. We were 6 at table. As usual, the festive turkey dinner was held at noon, and tonight we had a light supper of croissant sandwiches, followed by butter tarts, the Canadian favourite.

Diet? What diet? It’s Thanksgiving weekend!

Only a couple of days left in official summer! Earlier this week, the weather here was cold. I mean COLD for mid-September. On Monday and Tuesday there were residents sitting in the lounge wearing their coats. So management took the hint – a bit later in the week. (Mucking around with a 50-year-old heating system requires time, don’t you know?) So yesterday the heat came on in both buildings (which are joined together on the first floor and basement levels.) Tonight, my suite is a comfortable temp – about 68F. But the common areas on the main floor, where on Monday we were shivering, are now so hot that they are uncomfortable to occupy. The dining room was a sauna tonight. The next 2 days are predicted to be very warm. Of course, most of us had been getting ready to put away our summer clothes. Oops- not quite yet! I will be happy to see the cool weather settle in.

In other news, I have been wrestling with my iPhone, trying to get the new iOS8 installed. Having a hard time. Tonight I have been forced into searching the depths of the phone’s memory, and trashing old files, trying to make room for the new operating system, which requires a lot of GB. So far, no joy. More work and more trashing of files is required. I hate it that I am throwing out all these old files without actually looking at them to see if they should be saved. I just tell myself that if I haven’t looked at them for the last 2 years, then they are not high priority for saving. Out they go!

Speaking of iPhone, the sales of the new phone have gone through the roof. Here in the big city, a few people started standing in line on Monday, to be among the first to own the new phone. Did you see the picture of the lineup in NYC? If I read the news correctly, the lineup stretched out for 10 blocks at opening hour at the Apple store in NYC. I always feel sad that Steve Jobs did not live to see the amazing successes of his best-ever product. Anyone who did not get their hands on a new iPhone today, and had to reserve one for future delivery, will be waiting for it at least until the end of October. I also read that the sales of the new iPhone went through the roof in China, among other places. BTW, I am not a buyer of a new iPhone. I am happy with my current model, which I have had for 3 years, I think. It’s always with me.

Canadian flag

Canadian flag

Happy Canada Day!

Bob Lefsetz today, writing about Yahoo:

“I used to use your news page as my homepage, but now it’s filled with advertising, you’re winning, but I’m losing. But not for long. This is how you lose me.”

My sentiments exactly! As usual, Lefsetz gets it right.

Originally posted on National Post | News:

A heavy downpour was causing localized flooding and transportation problems in the Toronto area Wednesday evening.

A Toronto Hydro map shows that at least seven areas of the city lost power.

Police had closed part of the busy north-south Don Valley Parkway shortly after 10 p.m. due to flooding (between Bloor St. and the Gardiner Expressway).

There was no immediate word on when the highway might reopen.

The Toronto Transit Commission had earlier advised customers that trains were bypassing a subway station (Lawrence) due to flooding.

Shuttle buses were brought into service to move passengers around the affected station in the north end of the city.

The heavy rain had also flooded numerous underpasses and city streets.

In a special weather statement, Environment Canada had called for 30 to 40 millimetres of rain tapering off later in the evening.

There were no immediate reports of any injuries related to the…

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