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Memories With Duncan


My son Duncan is visiting Colorado Springs on a trip from his home in Rio de Janeiro and Melinda and I with our two dogs drove up from Santa Fe to see him. We’ll also have visits with my daughter Heather, son-in-law Dan and our two brilliant grandsons. We are also seeing numeous other friends before we return to New Mexico on Sunday so we can host what will probably be a very large New Year’s Day party in the canyon.

 

So why am I writing about it here rather than on Facebook? It’s because Duncan and I were remembering our amazing visit to Salvador Dali’s home, Casa Dali, in Port Lligat. That was the time that the Fundacio Gala-Salvador Dali in Figures arranged for us to be at the home/museum all alone for several hours.

 

My big disappointment was that while the house was intact and I could go anywhere I wished and see anything I wanted to, the Master’s library had been removed and was being stored at the Foundation in the Torre Galatea next to the Museo in Figures. I was really curious to see the books that he read, many of which would be on scientific topics. Dali was always interested in science and even predicted important events before they occurred.

 

 One well-known example was his prediction in “Discovery of America by Christopher Columbus” of man walking on the moon. The other was the discovery of DNA by Crick and Watson in 1961. Jim Watson, my Nobel Prize-winning counsin, has tracked numerous visual clues in Dali’s work that predicted the discovery of the double helix. I plan to publish the evidence that Jim has sent to me.

 

When I visited him at Cold Spring Laboratory on Long Island, he showed me a perfectly marvelous–and, as far as I know, otherwise unknown–original mixed media painting that the Master had given him. Naturally, the double helix is prominently featured.

 

The afternoon that Duncan and I spent at Casa Dali was filled with discoveries of objects that most people would probably not recognize, such as one of the plaster bombs containing screws and nails that Dali used to mar the surfaces of intaglio printing plates. It was just sitting on a shelf outside the bedroom and I have no idea whether it was “live” or posed any threat. We decided to just leave it alone. Wouldn’t it be something if the international Dali authority was scarred like a printing plate by the artist’s bomb?

 

We especially enjoyed our time beside the penis-shaped swimming pool where so many visiting celebrities were photographed.

 

I have since visited the house as just another tourist and the experience was not nearly so rewarding. I could no longer check out the brushes, paints and paper in the studio, for instance. It was roped off so we could only peer in through the doorway.

 

Duncan and I agree that we had a unique experience that afternoon and don’t expect it to ever be repeated.