Because I like to learn all I can about my passion, I attend PACE (Plein Air Convention and Expo) each chance I can. This year it was in San Francisco. I loved it. It was everything that you could hope for such an event to be. We tried to paint the Golden Gate Bridge, but she had a case of the willies and kept hiding in the fog. No matter, I got to practice fog! We painted in Golden Gate Park! And there I had the surprise of my trip.
Those of you who were at the event probably heard me talk about it. I painted at Stowe Lake. It was a beautiful place...seagulls flying past, walkers stopping by to wonder what the heck I was doing, photographers with all manner of lenses probably costing as much or more than my first car, the whole world seemed to come by this quiet corner of the park. And it had an open parking spot! My big ticket requirements were all ticked off! So I spent a lovely time painting a quiet introspective part of the park. Suddenly it was time to go. The light had changed and it was getting more atmospheric with each passing moment.
Oil on Linen Panel
I threw all my things in the car, taking care to not get paint all over the inside of the vehicle. Suddenly a voice behind me tried to get my attention. I turned and thought "oh no, here comes one of those weirdos one hears about in the parks of San Francisco." But wait this person looked very clean cut and was respectful, so maybe this wasn't one of those incidents. As he tried to hand me his phone he said "I have something to show you.'" Oh oh, spidey sense up again! But what he was trying to tell me was that he had taken a picture of me painting the scene and wanted to know if I would like to have it. Wow!
Aside from my round appearance, it was a pretty good picture, so I offered my business card with a request that he email it to me. Upon which it was his turn to be amazed. My new acquaintance said "You're not a Sackett?!!" I said I have been for 51 years! this man reached into his pocket and pulled out his business card... Mark Sackett! Holly cow! What the heck are the chances in a city this size to run into someone with the same family name? Especially a name that is not THAT common. Well the painting was not that special. I don't get a chance to paint water that often in New Mexico so I am rusty. But this painting is my reminder that life is an adventure and even when you least expect it you just might run into some long lost relative. He was a very pleasant person and I thank him for the one memory that I shall always have that makes a visit to a very large city a wonderful memory.
Back in the hotel one of my roomies asked if I always had such a weird life. I think it was simply serendipity. That's what it was. If I had not gone to PACE, if I had not gone painting....the French have a saying 'tant pis', too bad,