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Thread: Why Mr. Robert Minton wrote his first check to the cause - has to do with mobiles

  1. #1
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    Dec 2007
    earth, sol system

    Default Why Mr. Robert Minton wrote his first check to the cause - has to do with mobiles

    Another dream when I was teen was of a series of golden circles revolving around each other concentrically, each at a random axis of rotation. I made something that at least looked like what I saw, had the same look and feel, like a 20“ earring, out of thin polished brass wire and hung it up on the ceiling when I was 17. Not too long after this a friend saw it and asked who made it, and proceeded to buy it from me for $10. This was perhaps in 1968.

    I made a few dozen more and sold them in shops in Georgetown, the nightclub district in Washington DC.

    Fast forward to 1976, I was now on a medical leave after losing the ability to digest food due to the poor diet at the $cientology office I worked at. I had begun selling similar mobiles but made out of 5/32 inch half hard brass rods, that I had found at a great price at a place called Rotax Metals in Brooklyn NY on the Canarsi Line, the L Train, a couple of blocks from New Lots Ave station.. The rods came in 20 foot lengths. I’d coil up a half dozen lengths into a 3 foot circle and carry them back on the subway over my shoulder.

    I’d sell them on the streets in Manhattan. There were three locations I would use, uptown East Side around 82nd St on Lexington, on the northwest corner of Bleeker and Thompson - caddy corner from the Village Vanguard Cafe,in front of The San Marco Cafe, under their awning and in the East Village in front of a bank at Sheridan Square on W 4th St between Grove and Barrow.

    Once, in front of the San Marco Cafe, a middle ages lady stopped and looked at my work for a while. I asked her if she wanted to buy one, she said no, that she had many, and said her name was Madame Calder, and turned and walked away.

    Another time, a black limo pulled over in front of me when I was in front of the bank on Grove Street. The window silently whirred down and all I could see is a white finger beckoning me to the curb. I walked over holding my mobile up in my right arm and the voice said “Young man, your art is too beautiful to be sold on the street” Having grown a bit street savvy I replied a bit impatiently “How many do you want?” The gentlemen then said: “Allow me to buy you dinner and I’ll will describe my proposal” I thought, free food, this is a good thing and said, “OK”. He gave me an address around the corner and told me to meet him there in a few minutes.

    I arrived at what looked like an old row brick row house that had been converted into an upscale restaurant. He met me as I walked up holding my art under one arm, and we went inside and were shown to a semi private room with one table. I wasn’t sure what to order as I could not read the menu, and don’t recall what I settled on, but do recall it was very expensive.

    This older gentleman proceeded to make me an offer. He said that could sell thousands of my pieces, and I asked how can you do that? He said his specialty was retail sales, and that he owned large voting blocks of stock in all the major retail outlets. He proceeded to outline what he could provide. He would provide a $10,000 cash advance for materials, a loft space is SoHo, he would arrange rave reviews in all the art magazines, and I would have a gauranteed sold out one man show in Soho!

    I asked who exactly are you to be able to promise so much? He said that he owned a holding company that employed over 500 people to manage his investments. I was at this point speechless for a moment trying to do the math in my head... Well I asked what is was he wanted in return and it turned out to be sex.

    Up until this point in this life I still had some idealistic ideas and believed that art stood above deceit.. I was so terribly disappointed to learn how the art world really worked.

    A week or so later I was hanging a large piece in a lawyer’s foyer uptown west side around 90th street, and while I was on the ladder putting a hook in the ceiling, I told him the story that I just told you.

    At the end his eyes got real big and he exclaimed: “Do you have any idea who you were talking to?” I said, no, the gentleman told me his name but I don't recall it... he said that was (name deleted), the head of Federated Department Stores... He is probably one of the top ten richest men in America now and he was the man that originally backed Andy Warhol.

    Flash forward 20 years, I posted this story to a newsgroup on the internet called alt.religion.scientology in 1995, one of the lurkers reading that group was an investment baker named Robert Minton, whose partnership had engineered the famous Nigerian Junk bond buyback for Nigeria after Solomon Brothers had offered to do it for 3% commission... but Nigeria went with Mr Minton who had offered the same services which were ultimately successful for a 2% commission.

    In 1995, Bob wrote his first check to help fight scientology. I was treasurer for FACTNet and he wrote the first of a number of checks to various people for the amount of $10,000.

    Ten years later, I asked Bob what had moved him to actually pick up his pen to write that first check to FACTNet? I asked what was in your mind at the time? Then Bob described reading the story I just told you on the newsgroup back in 1995, and said,

    “Arnie, I just wanted to show you that not all rich people were scumbags”.
    Last edited by Lermanet_com; 12th March 2014 at 04:51 AM.

  2. Thanks Veda, DOC0715, freethinker, mockingbird, RogerB and 13 others says "thank you" for this post
  3. #2
    Supressive Artist DOC0715's Avatar
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    May 2014
    Somiwhere on the 3rd Planet from the sun.

    Default Re: Why Mr. Robert Minton wrote his first check to the cause - has to do with mobiles

    Thanks for linking me this Artie, wish I had met Mr Minton.

  4. Thanks Lermanet_com says "thank you" for this post
  5. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2008

    Default Re: Why Mr. Robert Minton wrote his first check to the cause - has to do with mobiles

    Quote Originally Posted by DOC0715 View Post
    Thanks for linking me this Artie, wish I had met Mr Minton.
    Doco- you mean to say arnie.

  6. Thanks Little David says "thank you" for this post

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