Tag Archive | paul revere

The Italians aren’t coming

One of my elderly great aunts, Rosa, died a few years back. She lived a long full life — well into her 90s.

She was an artist. She trained and lived in Italy. She knew everything about painting. She later married a very rich Italian business man, whom she loved madly all her life, and who indulged her every whim.

They lived in the US and Italy. He bought her anything she wanted. ANYTHING. And that’s how Rosa ended up with a top of the line Italian-made studio easel that really belongs in the art restoration department of a world class museum. It’s enormous.

Rosa had some success as an artist, her good friend Frank Sinatra asked her to paint a portrait of his mother Natalie. That’s the kind of life Rosa lived.  Really more socialite than artist, but 100% trained artist and 100% serious about her art. (Ok, and they both spoke Italian.)

When Rosa died, I inherited her huge electric easel. It was made in 1953 but still working.  Italians make great quality products.  It’s really no surprise the company has a reputation as the best easel makers in the world.  In fact, they still make this exact model easel, 60 years later.

A few weeks back I jammed my easel stuck in the tilted position. I  tried all the recommended methods for getting it unstuck. No luck. Finally, I wrote to the company, in Italy, and asked for help.  The reply was sooo Italian.

The company was shut down for the month of August. But they’d contact me as soon as they got back. I understood. It was Europe. People go on vacation in August. My bad.

Finally I took a wench to the easel and managed to unstick it without harming it.  Good for another 50 years at least.

I love the Italians, so charming, brilliant craftsmen, great design, wonderful customer service. But when it comes to getting something fixed in August? Definitely you want an American with a wrench.

(And yes, I would definitely go for a midnight ride with that Paul Revere!)