Dearest Rachel –
There’s a lot of wrenching decisions to be made in the process of cleaning up the house. One of those is the question of what to do with all the artwork. Like with the pictures of your family going back generations and then out several times removed, I have no emotional connection to them.
But it seems almost blasphemous to simply throw out art, even art created out of junk, like your dad was wont to do.
At the same time, there isn’t really any place for it in the house, and it’s not like I’m likely to display it at any point in time. So I’m stuck with the dilemma of what to do. Ellen has pointed out that, even if someone shopping at Goodwill isn’t really that interested in the art, they might be interested in a frame – because they cost money, too. After all, she would know: she’s the one that got Daniel’s artwork framed, and that set her back to the tune of a thousand dollars or so.
So, okay, send it to Goodwill, and let whoever buys it determine whether or not to keep the artwork. I still don’t feel entirely comfortable about that, but these are the hard choices.
The thing is, this picture was done by your mom before she met your dad (hence the signature Jo Gecsy – indeed, I thought I remembered you referring to the picture’s title as “Help Me, Mrs. Gecsy!” rather than the more everyman title “Help Me, Teacher!” that she actually signed it with), after her first husband passed away, and she went back into teaching to make a living. Presumably, some of her students might even recognize themselves, if they squint hard enough. So it has a family story behind it, that gives it a little more meaning to us than it would to anyone else who might own it.
And yet, for me, that meeting is secondhand at best. But it’s still more then would be had by the average art patron.
Anyway, it was along for the ride with a good half dozen boxes and a couple of garbage bags full of material we were donating. When Jan and I got to the donation drop-off point, I hit the button to open the trunk automatically, like my car does… only to hear a rattling crash.
It turns out, the picture was set in the trunk on something of an angle, and as the hatchback opened, it slid right out onto the ground. The frame stayed intact, but the glass absolutely shattered.
By sheer force of serendipity, they were some rubber work gloves in the room where Goodwill keeps their bins. So Jan and I grab a couple pairs, along with a wastebasket from the same area, and load all the broken glass into the rubbish.
But now, what happens with the picture? Who’s gonna be interested in it now, since the frame isn’t even complete anymore?
I couldn’t countenance the idea of it simply being thrown out, just because the glass was broken. So while Jan wasn’t looking, I just slipped it back into the the trunk again. I’ll figure out something.
I’m sorry, Jan.
And I’m sorry, Jo… or should I say, Mrs. Gecsy?