The revelation of the treasures hidden in the attic, garage and shed of Monsieur Pierre Le Guennec -consisting of 271 pieces of art by Picasso, and valued conservatively at £55 million, has dredged up an old story from the archives of our family history. And, once again we are hearing some derisive phone calls that begin with:'Thank's a lot, Dad'.
As a young boy aged thirteen or fourteen he helped his mother and her partner in their Epicerie in Cannes, stocking shelves, carrying boxes and delivering groceries on his bicycle. Chez Picasso was one of his regular stops. He would ring the bell at the gate and would be let in by the housekeeper, carry the goods to the kitchen door and receive a pourboire, usually enough for a small bet at the Bouleodrome, where he often played, and won against grown men.
This particular day he rang the bell, and waited, then rang again. Finally Picasso himself came to open the gate and beckoned JP inside and over to the kitchen where he deposited the groceries onto the table. Then the great man patted his pockets and turned them inside out to show he had no small change on him. Disgruntled, JP turned to go but Picasso said 'No, wait, just a moment'. He emptied one of the white paper bags onto the table and, taking a pencil from behind his ear, and with a few bold strokes drew his famous Dove of Peace on it, dated and signed it and presented it, with a smile to the boy.
Outside the gate JP looked at the paper in his hand, crunched it up and threw it into the ravine and muttering words that only be translated into 'what a mean, miserable old......' rode back to the shop in high dudgeon.
'THANK'S A LOT, DAD!'