Monday, March 30, 2009
This painting was inspired by the small town legend of a man named Scotty and the cove that was named after him. The following story is true...but quite frankly I can't confirm it..but it's a good one anyway.
I grew up in the small sea side town of Winthrop, Massachusetts and in the 1990's I rented a small studio right across the street from the Atlantic ocean. My back yard butted against a small cove that overlooked the Boston skyline and the Winthrop, Yacht club. It was in this cove that I met one of my neighbors, a very funny sign painter named Rick. For a fee, he would carefully adhere the name of your boat on the stern with vinyl lettering. The day I met Rick he was shit-faced and telling filthy jokes. He handed me one of his business cards which included an itemized list of the services he provided: "Vinyl Lettering, Wood & Billboard Signs, Airbrush & Pinstriping | Auto, Truck, Boat, & Van, Banners, Auto Graphics, Wood Signs, Parquet floors and Belly Rolls". I didn't know what "Belly Rolls" were and when I asked him, he lifted his shirt and started rolling his belly. The guy was hilarious.
Because I lived on the cove I would see him from time to time, usually just a wave and sometimes a quick belly roll.
Rick was an alcoholic and he was going through a bitter divorce battle. It was soon followed by a bitter custody battle over his only son. He lost everything in the divorce, including custody of his son, Rick Jr. His drinking became worse and there were nights when the police had to break up domestic altercations on his ex-wife's lawn. A restraining order soon followed. His ex was so bitter over it all she threatened to legally change the name of their son Rick Jr. to spite his name-sake...eventually she actually went through with it. Her son's name was legally changed from Rick Jr. to Scotty. needless-to-say, Rick Sr. was pissed but there was nothing he could do in the courts, he no longer had custody. He had no say.
...Or did he?...Rick Sr. changed his name to Scotty too. Brilliant! His wife still lived on the cove with her son and to spite her he made it his mission to re-name the cove, "Scotty's Cove". To boat owners who were docked in the cove, he offered discounted vinyl lettering if they allowed him to add the words, "Scotty's Cove, Winthrop, Mass" on the stern. On the route 145 road signs that lead through Winthrop he added in small letters, "Scotty's Cove 1 mile". That's true. If you're ever in Winthrop on rt. 145, take a close look and you'll see the words..they're still there. Eventually boats all over town had "Scotty's Cove" written on them and it soon began to be known town-wide as Scotty's Cove. His Cou'de Gra came when "Scotty's Cove" found it's way on to an official Winthrop, Mass map.
Several years later, Scotty Sr. passed away in his lawn chair in his front yard on the 4th of July. Independence day.