Wednesday, 1 December 2010

JP and Picasso. A sorry tale.


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!'

16 comments:

lakeviewer said...

Ah! It's a great story!

Saz said...

Yeah As l say often Thanks a lot Dad!! A bloody Picasso and THE dove huh!!

I nearly die inside everytime l think of it, which is when ever Pablo is mentioned...

I would have wanted to meet HIM....

and l would love to look like Paloma his daughter what a stylish woman..she is beautiful!

threw it away how could you!!
saz x

Hilary said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Hilary said...

Ack! It sure makes for some fine family lore though.

Nana Go-Go said...

I was hoping the story wasn`t going to end like that but had an idea that it would!Eeeekkk! Never mind, he was a dirty old sod anyway!(Picasso, not JP!)

libby said...

Ooooooohhhhhh....and he's had to live with that ever since...

Woman in a Window said...

ARE YOU SERIOUS? My god, how could you not love that man! HA!

xo
erin

Maggie May said...

How was he supposed to know what it would be worth today! It6 would have been better not to have known!
Maggie X

Nuts in May

Jules~ said...

Oh no! Boy all those things we learn in hind sight is really something.

I can't tell you how many things I have tossed over the years while cleaning that I realize later I should have held onto. Of course nothing as grand and amazing as Picasso.
But what a fun family story to have. I wonder if it ever becomes something of a fish tale.

Blessings to you today.

Suldog said...

Ah, we all (well, many of us, anyway) have the family story of lost riches. I suspect even the Rockefellers and Gettys of this world tell tales of how they could have been even more well-off than they are.

My own tale involves Baseball Cards, little pieces of cardboard containing photographs of baseball players, which can be extremely valuable collectible pieces of ephemera in America. My Mom threw out my somewhat sizable collection of them when I was a teenager. It's a story oft-repeated by many boys in the US, and that's why the damned things are so valuable, of course, but my baseball cards would have been worth perhaps $60,000 by now (original cost might have been $15 total). Oh, well.

lime said...

*gasp* silly boy had no idea!

mrsnesbitt said...

Who would ever have thought eh? I often think about buying a piece of art as an investment - my friend has a great collection of Mackenzie Thorpe which she is selling next year - now there's a thought! Nice to meet you.

Out on the prairie said...

So what could a drawing be worth? Hmmm I framed a large dove in the 70's and the price they put on it was priceless.My price,a sound my grandmother made with a hand sign, Ehhhaaaaaa?

Travel Nurse Extraordinaire said...

I can't really blame him. At that age he was probably more interested in money for a tip so he could go play it and win. Good story.

thestuffinbetween said...

To tell you the truth, I'm just sorry he didn't crumple it up in front of the old coot. Imagine the arrogance of drawing a silly picture when the boy needed money. No wonder he crumpled it up. WELL DONE, JP!!! :)

Retired English Teacher said...

Yes, I guess I can see both sides of the story. Money was what was needed at the time, not some drawing. It makes a wonderful story!