Good morning, Tina here.
I had the most delightful day yesterday. It started out with a special social meeting at the Placerville Shakespeare Club where we celebrated our history by honoring our life members and with some of us dressing in pioneer (or other historical) garb. I wore my dress which I had made for my costume as Louisa Veerkamp in our performance of El Dorado's Gold last October.
We had a speaker, Ken Deibert, who is a local historian and has a column in two local papers. I was lucky enough to sit next to him and shared a stack of old Placerville postcards I brought along. Chatting with other ladies at the table, I realized I had worked with one of them years ago at the Courthouse. All in all a wonderful, informative and friendship filled meeting!
Then, in the afternoon, the piece de resistance. I meet with my newest friend James, a gentleman and fellow history-buff from Carmichael, California. He had found my post on Ethel Phegley through an internet search, and he commented, wanting to contact me about some tiles of her artwork he owned. After a few mishaps in cycberspace trying to connect with each other, we finally connected through email and a phone call and agreed to meet. (All in one day! - Do you think we were excited about this???) James drove all the way to Placerville after he got off work to meet with me, which I appreciate very much!
There are three tiles, the first one above is the Methodist-Episcopal Church, now called the Federated Church, which once stood on a corner at Cedar Ravine and Main Streets. It is the same subject as one of her tiles I already had, same view, but a different painting. It makes me wonder now how many tiles she did of her subjects, since I have two tiles of the Bee-Bennett house also, although the views on that tiles are a bit more different from each other.
Above is my favorite of the three tiles, the Old Chinese Josh House, which used to stand at about the corner of Pacific and Goldner Streets. I love the bright colors and the perspective, and the little people adding a touch of personality.
I love the way this worker looks like he is enjoying his bright fresh day, even though he is loaded down with what must be heavy produce!
One of the tiles still retains its original label, printed by Ethel herself, misspelling and all.
Above is a true prize, a painting of the original building which used to sit on Main Street across from the Cary House, where the Hangman's Tree once stood. More of Ethel's little people gather around. I like to think the lady with the cane on the right was Ethel, since she signed her name below. When I took a painting class we spent a whole class learning how to paint little people to put in our paintings, it is an art in itself!
A lady and gent, he with his top hat and coat, and her with her bonnet, muff and bustle. All in a few simple strokes.
I will leave you with a synopsis of James' tale of how the tiles came to him, and then to me:
He had a good friend who owned these tiles. James always admired them and his friend noticed that he always checked them out when ever he was over. One day his friend told him, I know you like these tiles, and if I am ever ready to give them up, I will let you have first pick. Time went by, about a year or so. One day as James stopped by his friends home to deliver some hay, after not seeing him for about three months, James walked into the middle of his friend finalizing a sale to a local art framing store, he was SELLING JAMES' TILES! James blurted out "Wait, you told me I could have first pick on those!" His friend stopped dead in his tracks and said "You are right!" and stopped the deal. James says five minutes one way or the other and those tiles would have been gone.
Then, as you know, James found me later on this blog and contacted me, and now here are the tiles at their new home with the others, and hopefully more will find their way to me if they are out there.
James is interested in old photos or postcards of Citrus Heights, Fair Oaks, Orangevale, Carmichael, Sacramento, Arbuckle, and Dunnigan. He likes street and town views, fire and police department related photos. He also collects World War 2 photos and he especially likes glass negatives. If any of you has anything he might be interested in please contact me and I will share.
Thank you so much James, I am ever so grateful to you, and I am very glad to have met you and I hope we two history buffs can forge a friendship that will aid our respective collections and brighten our lives in the future!
I have two other blogs about Ethel Phegley's tiles: