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  • Several times over the last few days I passed Victor on the outskirts of Jackson Square. Actually, I didn't notice him at first, but instead I was struck by the pastel of the woman who hangs to his left in the photograph above. The light in the drawing was like a siren who called to me from at least 50 feet away. Finally, I decided that if I was so drawn to a painting that I was circling a park over and over again... perhaps I should see if I could afford to buy it.

    When I approached this elder gentleman, I assumed that he would recognize me as the woman who had been stalking his humble stand for days, but Victor is quite a self absorbed gentleman and so, as I got closer and closer to he and the painting in my stroll around Jackson Square he had never noticed. When I finally I asked him how much the drawing cost he told me that it was not for sale, and that it had great sentimental value.

    Here is the story he told me (pretty much verbatim):

    " See...In 1950 I went to New York City and I hung around in the Village, at Avenue of the Americas. I met this professional model at a party and I told her I was an artist. She wasn't sure whether I was telling her the truth, or just trying to impress her. Anyway, she said she'd always wanted someone to paint her picture. I told her I could do that. The girl told me I could come back to her apartment, and she would let me do her portrait if she could keep it. I said okay, I would do that if she would sit for two portraits - one that I would give her, and one that I would keep. She said okay and so we went back to her apartment and I worked all night long doing these paintings. Then, in the morning, I said to her - a deals a deal - which one do you want ? She chose the one she wanted and that was it, we shook hands and said goodbye to each other. Nothing more. Tell you the truth... I think she was a bit surprised. I know I was. Anyway, I never saw her again. She sure was a pretty gal though.... Hmm...I wonder if she's still alive today? Well anyway, it's not for sale."

    I told Victor that I was glad that he had told me the story, but sorry that the drawing was not for sale. He said, "well how about this... why don't you buy one of my landscapes of New Orleans and I consider selling the painting to you? I am afterall a man of my word."

    I thanked him for the offer and told him that I would give it some thought... at the very least I was sure I would be back to his stand one more time to say good-bye to him, and to see the painting one last time...
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