Monday, March 30, 2009

Scotty's Cove

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.


Anonymous said...

Because you didn't name your child Jeffrey Accomando I am going to legally change my name to Max Bonita, and I am going to rename the Castro district of San Francisco to Max's District.

Todd Bonita said...

I might have to contact my lawyer, the honorable Ed Wayland and have him draft a legal note that would give me custody of which time I would legally change your name to Steve Generazio. I would then campaign to have the Pizza center changed to Steves Pie and quotes.

Alvin Richard said...

Sad, but a funny story. But I did find these two comments above mine even funnier, even if it looks like an insider's joke.... lol!

Todd Bonita said...

Thanks doesn't get any more insider than this. chuckle-on...

Rebekah Amaral said...

My future husband is THE Scotty Jr.Yes this story is mostly true. How can we get a copy of your painting? It is beautiful.

Todd Bonita said...

Hi Rebekah, thats too funny! Congratulations!...even funnier to revisit this post seven years later...I painted this in 2009. I must tell you I love legend and lore, it's part of the long unbroken New England heritage of story telling...passing tales from one generation to the next...The "almost true" parts are probably not unlike New England sailors who brought back tales of sea monsters; details and facts become distorted in the interest of provocative story telling...true or otherwise, it's part of the seaside village culture and for me personally, it was part of the charm of growing up in Winthrop.
I like to believe the best parts of this story are true, a fathers love for his son. This painting is available as limited edition giclee reproductions in my gallery in Portsmouth, NH...I can mail it to you framed if you wish. Shoot me an email personally for details and I'm happy to give you the Hometown discount. email me at or call me (603) 819-9100
All the best,