RHODcast: Apr 30, 2021
It was a story the old man loved to tell. But nobody took him seriously, except perhaps Mike at the garage. It concerned another local character who shared the same last name two generations before; and whose paintings were so bad, the locals said, that children used to throw stones at him as he tried to hawk them from his wheelbarrow. Recently a contractor doing up the old house near us known as the Hearth and Eagle, made a discovery that changed everything. Do join me for part one of a Marblehead story, and an American one.
The Missing Paintings – an American Story (pt 2)
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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.