Thursday, January 24, 2013

Introducing The Corrigan Collection

Breaking News: The Corrigan Collection is underway.

Before I moved to San Francisco, I donated all my newspaper files to the media archives at the University of Missouri at St. Louis. By “files” I mean stacks and stacks of scrapbooks filled with articles I wrote from my high school years (when my work appeared in a major metropolitan daily and a neighborhood weekly paper as well as the high school paper) through my two decades as a reporter at the Post-Dispatch.

Imagine my delight when the following email arrived: “My name is Jerry Cooper. I am a retired Professor of History from the University of Missouri-St. Louis. A couple of days a week I do volunteer work at the Archives at the Thomas Jefferson Library, at UMSL.  One of my most enjoyable tasks here is to process collections that have been donated to the Archives.

“In searching for a new project, I ran across your collection. My wife and I had always enjoyed reading your columns, and in processing your collection I was reminded how interesting your pieces were.” Mr. Cooper then asked a few questions he needs answered for a brief introduction he is writing for the Corrigan Collection.

Holy cow! I’m a collection! Of course I answered his questions. Stay tuned.

Meanwhile, a stack of magazines (the New Yorker, Bay Nature, O, Prevention and a two-month-old Vanity Fair) awaits my attention, I am behind on TV viewing (The Daily Show, Nature, Pioneers of Television, Frontline) and my appointment with the tax preparer approaches. (He will be delighted that my savings account earned 81 cents in interest in 2012.)  

What am I doing with my time instead?

Exploring San Francisco with friends, whipping out freelance work, spending time with Milo and playing Chasing Frank, Chasing Andy and Chasing Shannon (aka Scrabble) on line, that’s what. Also, my friend Michael was in town just long enough for lunch (disappointing watery soup at Boulange), a visit to the Warming Hut (see photo), a walk on the west end of Crissy Field and a quick stop at the Sports Basement, which is so big that you must call your shopping companion to find out where he/she is in the store.

That same day, I drove to Stinson Beach to see my friend Emmeline Craig’s wonderful new Blissful Gallery. (See I’ve had the privilege of watching this particular dream of Emmeline’s come true. Here is what she wrote in a recent blog post:

“In August 2011, I described my concept to my new friend Patricia Corrigan, talented writer and delightful woman (she loves my work…). We were having lunch in a cafe in Sausalito, and I laid out for her my vision and my desire for a beautiful space, an Art Gallery according to my heart, where I could show my work as well as others. A place to make people feel good. A place where reverence for Life is the primary form of Art.  At the time I was exploring possibilities for renting and renovating a very large building in Pt. Reyes Station. It was quite daunting. And it did not work out. But I kept looking and reaching and talking about it. I wrote notes, I made sketches, I polished statements and I pondered a lot… It was a time of brewing, incubating, and projecting. Nothing was tangible. Nothing but a certainty in my guts that I would see it happen.”  

Next, my friend Beth was in town for four days, and we were out and about much of the time. Here is an abbreviated report of a wonderful visit:

Where We Went: The Academy of Sciences, the San Francisco Botanical Garden (love the redwood grove), the Japanese Garden, the Inner Richmond (shoe shopping!), Crate and Barrel (after-Christmas sale), American Conservatory Theatre (“4000 Miles”), Sausalito (especially enjoyed the Arlecchina shop), the beautiful Rodeo Beach, Fort Cronkhite, Domaine Chandon winery, Clos Pegase winery (see and the wooden deck at Fort Funston on the edge of the continent.

Where We Ate: Memphis Minnie’s, the cafĂ© at the Academy of Sciences (good gumbo), the Japanese Tea House, Pinkberry Yogurt (salted caramel – wow!), Colibri, the farm stand in Mill Valley (whole wheat fig bars), Cliff House (truffle fries and pear martinis) and Mustards Grill in Napa Valley (sweet potato and crab frites).   

Today, I went to the de Young Museum to see “Rudolph Nureyev: A Life In Dance.” (See Every second I was there, looking at film clips, amazing photos and beautiful costumes, I was remembering seeing Nureyev at The Muny in 1978 (he also danced there in 1967 and 1969) and again at Kiel Auditorium in 1988. What a privilege to have seen this gifted man perform!

More fun to come: A family birthday celebration on Saturday, a new episode of “Downton Abbey” on Sunday and then on Monday, my friend Cheri (visiting from Delaware) and I will meander in search of sights to see as we share “grandma” stories. Those magazines, TV shows – and even the tax preparer -- all will have to wait!