RHODcast: Oct 11, 2021
For some, the sound of summer has been the noise of torrential rain. In both the southeast of England and up and down the USA’s eastern seaboard, the rain has been more abundant than usual. When I took a day off from the summer joys of swimming and kayaking to visit CHRIS HOOD’s Marblehead boat yard, the town was on the very wet side of tropical storm Fred. The elegance and speed of Chris’s Hood 32 daysailer won top honors from both Sail Magazine and Sailing World, and it was a treat to see one being built. Listen for a clue about what it is that gives Marblehead a leg up on other sailing centers of the world.
Meanwhile, although I’ve done my best to goof off at every opportunity, you normally can’t keep a good RHODcast down. For the month of September, however, I’m taking the course pursued by many an exile and visiting family in the UK for the first time since the onset of Covid. If you missed any of the earlier podcasts, now might be an excellent time to check the list on our our redesigned website.
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An extraordinary gamble in early 2020 made RICK BOYD rich. But since we spoke back in March of 2021, it’s been a torrid spring for Bitcoin investors. Would you be OK with it? Is he? And whatever happened after HEATHER CAIRNS realized some of the torrent of wealth that came her way when Google went public? It’s all about risk, after all.
It all began with… a Chinese dinner? Or did it begin when HEATHER CAIRNS would invigilate the tests taken by two “child prodigy” graduate students in the engineering faculty at Stanford. Anyway, one thing led to another. Heather eventually returned to her home town on Boston’s North Shore where people still call her The Google Lady.
One hot day in June, Rhod joins BETTE HUNT, the emeritus historian of Marblehead, Mass. for a walk through the town’s almost 400 year old graveyard. Old Burial Hill connects the living with the dead in some strange ways as they discourse on Thornton Wilder’s famous play, George Washington’s favorite general, the Marblehead woman convicted at the Salem witch trials and the fairly undiscussed existence of a “negro” burial site in this quintessentially Yankee town.
He tried to hawk them from his wheelbarrow and even built a backyard museum for them without success. After his death some of his paintings were used as building material by his cash-strapped son. And yet as his huge output of historically significant work became better known in the 1950s, “a pretty big shadow” was cast over the art of JOJ Frost. What prevented people who owned his paintings from coming forward? Rhod hears from one of the mother and daughter team who have done more than anyone to try to bring the rest of Frost’s surviving “canvases” to light.
Who hid the painting in the wall of that old house? Rhod delves into the story of the eccentric artist JOJ Frost, who tried unsuccessfully to sell his pictures from a wheelbarrow, and whose paintings were worth less during the Depression than the boards they were painted on. Yet he left an incomparable account of a vanished way of life. And his paintings keep on turning up.