A while back I posted a piece about a superb painting that I bought at a thrift store.

Alejandro Debonis, who painted that picture, just wrote me!

"Hi John! [he wrote] I'm the artist who painted the picture you wrote about. I really appreciate your comments about the picture, and would love to know when, where and how you got my picture---just because I painted it in Buenos Aires, Argentina, a long ago. I'll wait for your answer, and I hope you receive this e-mail. Here is the address of my my web site: www.alejandrodebonis.com.ar



Naturally, I wrote back immediately, with:

You are my hero. I am insanely in love with that picture. I am so delighted to hear from you!

I am rather embarrassed to report that I bought your magnificent painting at a thrift store! Clearly someone made a terrible mistake donating to the store a work of such sublime sensitivity. Someone else's idiocy was my great and undeserved fortune.

My wife runs four thrift stores for a non-profit organization here in Encinitas, California that aides the homeless and victims of domestic violence. I was walking through one of her stores one day, and saw what of course I recognized to be a uniquely inspired and technically superior painting. Without hesitation I bought it, and have since had it hanging in a place in our house where I am most often likely to see it.

Fate is so devilishly fickle, is it not? That such a wonderful painting should end up in such ignoble circumstances---even for as short a time as your painting spent in the thrift store before I delightedly leaped on it---is proof, I think, of God's mischievous sense of humor.

Today's lesson: the Internet could not possibly be more awesome.

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