Sometimes things are a mystery and reveal themselves slowly through many days…such is the story of black and white sketch of “The Hut” you see above.
I first saw the piece in an email dated January 14th, 2016, sent to me by my mother, historian Sandra Thurlow. Her email read: “I came across this in a box of treasures. It was an invitation to a joint birthday party for Talley Crary, Frances Langford Stuart, and Jane Merrell. I guess it was “The, with a capital, Hut.” Mom
Prior to receiving this email I had traveled on a yacht up the St Lucie River with my next door neighbor Mr Rohloff—this was two days after Christmas. This was when Ed and I saw up close the destruction of the former Langford Estate. Cleared to the bone.
When the captain of Mr Rohloff’s yacht heard me gasping as I saw Mrs Langford’s wrecked estate he told me he used to live on there, and was married there, and that he actually worked for Mrs Langford for some time. His name is Rick Copeland. Captain Copland continued to talk about Mrs Langford throughout the trip and told stories of what a remarkable person she was.
He told a story that as she was aging she gathered all the painting of Emile Gruppe who she and her husband collected and gave them to the artist’ son. “These were very expensive paintings……” She wanted to make certain they were given to the right place and appreciated….
Now fast forward to last weekend. I attended an Environmental Studies Luncheon and sat next to Matt Kelly, who oversees the real estate for Martin Health Systems and years ago was my swimming coach. He took his phone out showing me the same ‘The Hut” piece going back in an email to the son of Emile Grippe and with my sister who works for MHS.
It’s a small world and the heart of Frances Langford lives on!
By just doing a quick search on the internet I found an article about an art show in 2013 in Naples of these Langford/Evenrude paintings! The Gruppe family is very famous and there were three generations of paintings as you will read.
It would be fun if I could find more of the the paintings to share. Here’s one I found. Mrs Langford called her house along the St Lucie River, the “River House,”—maybe this is hers?
Naples show of Evinrude/Langford paintings: http://www.news-press.com/story/news/2013/02/01/gruppe-family-painters-to-be-featured-in-world-class-exhibit/4262633/?from=global&sessionKey=&autologin=