May 31. Wednesday.
Okay, here’s the deal about the painting. At the conference I talked to my cousin, Elaine Turner, for the first time. George’s sister/Aaron’s mother. My uncle, Stanley Pransky, had been close to Elaine when he was in London and where he had his mental breakdown, which eventually led to his suicide. I was very close to my uncle, and his death really affected me. This was back in 1965, just as I was entering my sophomore year in college and transferring to a new school, so when I got there I was pretty much a mess.
So I have been very interested to hear from Elaine what he was like in the year leading up to his breakdown. He was a really great beatnik artist, who did a lot of beautiful paintings and drawings of jazz musicians. Elaine told me that Stanley was a friend of Ronnie Scott’s, whose jazz club is now the most famous in London, and much to my utter surprise she said there were jazz drawings and maybe a painting of Stanley’s hanging on the walls of the club.
When Stanley died, my mother, who was also an artist, kept all of his paintings and drawings, and then when she died a few years ago, my siblings and I inherited them, and we documented and photographed all his work and distributed them throughout the family. Our family did not know this artwork existed at Ronnie Scott’s! I would be amazed if he did not do a portrait of ‘s friend, Ronnie Scott, as he was primarily a portrait artist.
So yesterday I went down there accompanied by Peggy to see if his artwork was still on those walls to take photos of them if they were. Alas, they are not, as a very nice security guard named Jackie took me around to see. So Jackie gave me the email address of the general manager and I emailed him, and today he told me that he had been there eight years and didn’t know anything about them, but he did give me the name of their jazz archivist and said I could talk to him. So I have been waiting to hear from him to know whether I need to go back to Ronnie Scott’s before I leave here. As of this writing I haven’t heard from him, so I am not going back there tomorrow. So close, yet so far!
But Peggy had a brilliant idea that maybe the artwork had ended up with Ronnie Scott’s family (Ronnie Scott also apparently committed suicide—sad) so she looked up on the Internet Ronnie Scott’s ex-wife, Mary Scott, who apparently (maybe still) runs a musicians agency in Brooklyn, NY. So now I can track down that end of things. It’s like a detective story.
Training Community Coalition Members
The real news of the day was that I did an impromptu volunteer training at the Caius (pronounced “keys”) House for a community coalition in the rough end of Battersea.
I thought I was going to be having an informal conversation with four people, but it turned out to be a full training for 12, as I found out last night. Okay. This is the group that Peggy and Liliana are helping to have the Three Principles be the undergirding basis for this community effort. So my job was to help these community coalition members understand the 3Ps and help them see how to implement it in their community.
I was really inspired by this group and by what the lovely Liliana and Peggy are accomplishing there. It was really a good experience for us all. I miss doing this kind of work; it’s been a long time. I think I even picked up four new people for our October retreat in Spain.
I was kind of burnt after all that, so they dropped me at a restaurant near my hotel, where I ate Mediterranean food, and then I walked back across the big park and settled into my hotel room for the night.