RHODcast: Jul 22, 2021
I’m happy to say that the series about Our Town here in coastal Massachusetts is off to a flying start. We can all think of these end of the line places which exert a strange attraction on exceptional people. After all, would Ernest Hemingway have spent so long in Key West if it hadn’t been the last stop before Cuba? And what about Lawrence Ferlinghetti and the rest of the Beat Poets and their long association with San Francisco?
Around here, people know HEATHER CAIRNS as The Google Lady – and for the very good reason that without her, the company might never have left the ground. (To you, “LarrySergei” I only say might.) Still, Heather was there, in these early years, every step of the way, and we thought you’d like to hear about it.
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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.
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.