Wednesday, May 29, 2019

Ben Higgins photo

Ben Higgins (1894-1981)
The confusions in my mind, sown in part by the Memorial Day holiday weekend, loll and linger. For unclear reasons, a photo of basket maker Ben Higgins (1894-1981) awaits attention in the photo scanner.

Why is it that this man continues to grab my attention and hold it firm? Ben Higgins built baskets from youth to death. I don't believe I ever met the man, though he lived a couple of towns away in the hills around here. In Chesterfield. Was he as assured as I credit him with being? Probably not. People are so much more interesting than the pictures others paint of them. Did Higgins have a handle where I frequently feel that I lack purchase or support? I don't know. Did his simplicities exclude complications? Doubtful at best.

Anyway, I seem to be fixated and grateful for ... for ... for something or other.

The black-and-white photo, passed along by antiques dealer Bill Samaha was taken by someone Bill described as a hotshot west-coast photographer ... what seems to be/looks like "Marco Julin (?????? ... cannot read the signature)" Bill knew I admired Higgins from afar and so passed along the photo ... who else would remember, Bill asked. Strange, Bill added, that Higgins was little celebrated in his own bailiwick and yet "everyone" (in the antiques world, perhaps) knew who he was in New Hampshire.

A man who did what he did and kept on doing it ... and ... so it goes.

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