RHODcast: Jul 29, 2021
And then? This is a most important question. As people, we are conditioned to want to know the rest of it when we have been introduced and this week we’re going back to a conversation I had in March with a Florida resort manager turned Bitcoin millionaire, RICK BOYD. It’s not been an easy spring for Bitcoin believers, but in a generally rising stock market, some of the other crypto-currencies have held their own. Rick has always been open with us about his changing fortunes and here he brings us up to date.
HEATHER CAIRNS knew from the get-go in mid 2004 that she would never have to work again. That was the day that 22,534,678 shares in her old company Google went public at $85 a pop. If you held on to them, as she was required to as employee #4, the price only ever went higher. In a continuation of our interview a few weeks ago, Heather talks about the fulfillment she experienced from philanthropy and the challenges of coming home to a small town that is always, always, resistant to change.
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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.