"It is exercise alone that supports the spirits, and keeps the mind in vigor." Cicero

To recapitulate or bring you up to speed as Inspector Clouseau said, to date responses from le Musee d’Orsay, Musee des Annees 30, Musea Brugge, Sothebys, and the NY Public Library have been negative so far as having any evidence of Hubert in their databases. No response has been received from le Musee de Montmartre nor from the print detective I emailed back in December. No appraisal yet due to lack of funds but I’m not sure how worthwhile an appraisal would prove to be as it would most likely estimate the value of the print rather than impart any knowledge about the artist. I’m currently waiting and hoping for the NY Public Library’s print expert to scrutinize the etchings and perhaps shed some light on the subject or point me in a new direction. I’ve sent copies of some of my Hubert etchings and business cards to my ex-federal agent friend to explore museums and maybe a university or two in his hometown to expand my search across interstate lines.

My search for Hubert, although still unresolved, has been plodding along with leads then dead ends, advice then dead ends, ideas then dead ends. And now the plodding has come to a grinding halt. I’m stumped, stymied, at a standstill. I’ve hit a brick wall at 57 m.p.h. Unsure of what to do or where to go next I turn to my usual source of salvation – when the going gets tough, the tough go to the gym. A respite from the interminable challenges of life, I find solace in the steely arms of the fitness equipment. Jobs, money, people drop out of your life inexplicably but the gym is always there for me to run out my frustrations on the treadmill, climb my way out of a melancholy mood on the stairclimber, or just punch out my anger on the sandbag.

I do some of my best thinking at the gym – there’s really not much else to do while running or climbing for 60 minutes unless you count eavesdropping on the conversations about the sexual exploits of the two couture clad women in full makeup to the left of me, or the two senior citizens to the right of me comparing colonoscopy narratives. Once again, I find myself at the gym looking for answers, this time to my Hubert conundrum. Instead of answers I got a severe muscle cramp in my right shoulder from overdoing my workout and a crick in my neck from straining to glimpse the well-developed quadriceps of the weightlifters. I’m out of ideas but I’m not out of hope yet. As Fran, the 94 year-old gym regular, optimistically replies to the perfunctory “Good morning, how are you doing today?” greeting from her many admirers  – “Well, I’m still here, aren’t I!”….


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