Sunday, August 30, 2009

"The Amorous Drawings of the Marquis von Bayros" ~ Monkette's Favorite



I first met Rene Ricard either in the New Bedford, MA Public Library or Paul Noll's Arabian Nights Cafe back in the early sixties. Rene was a tall skinny 14 year old who'd already dropped out of school because he didn't fit in very well. There's not much room in a typical Jr. High for a genius level I.Q., and being gay wasn't exactly the right thing to be half a century ago. But google his name to find out what a bright Jr. High drop-out can accomplish!

Anyway, Rene introduced me to the works of Aubrey Beardsley and the Marquis von Bayros. I found a copy of the von Bayros book in Mary Poh's antique shop here in North Miami back in the early seventies. That's also where I met Claudia and she owned the same book! A match made in heaven? Not quite 100% but we're still best friends although the marriage only lasted about a dozen years and someplace along the way we'd decided that we didn't need two copies of the same book. We sold one.

This morning Monkette and I stopped by Claudia's house. I had a cup of coffee while Monkette played with Claudia's two dogs. Then she started looking through some books. She loves art books of late nineteenth century artists. Suddenly she let out an excited "Hey Al, you've got to take a look at this!" There was no way she could carry a book that big across the room so I put down my cup and walked over to the book. Monkette kept flipping pages and pointing at the drawings. "Look, monkeys!" she screamed. "You never told me about this book before!"

After a bit of discussion she extracted a promise from me to post a couple of the monkey pictures on the priceofsilver. That girl is very artistic, and like she said, "I never finished Jr. High either!" Yes, Monkette, you're in good company.

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