"The past,’ he thought, ‘is linked with the present by an unbroken chain of events flowing one out of another.’ And it seemed to him that he had just seen both ends of that chain; that when he touched one end the other quivered." Anton Chekkov

Thomas Wolfe once wrote “You can’t go home again.” Or can you? I found myself pondering this when I received an email from an old friend from the old neighborhood where I grew up. I had long since relegated those old memories to my mental filing cabinet where they remained stored away collecting dust because, realistically speaking, you can never relive the past. Time alters everything – places change, familiar landmarks disappear, old neighborhoods often become unrecognizable.  The memories are often all that is left because you cannot experience those times again.

Then it occurred to me that no matter how much the old neighborhood has changed it’s still an integral part of me. When I opened that email the cobwebs suddenly cleared, the memories gradually filtered back and I realized that much of who I am right now has been shaped by that very place I called home for so many years. Time can erase buildings but it can’t erase memories. It’s comforting to know that even though I might not be able to physically return to the old homestead my memories will always be there to reflect upon. Memories create our legacy. They are uniquely ours to hold and remember, they are what make our lives not only special but richer. So although technically it might be impossible to go home again, emotionally and spiritually it’s good for the soul to revisit your roots.

Which brings me to Hubert’s roots – if Hubert is indeed Albert C. Hubert, as has been suggested, then his birthplace would have been Austria. The only biographical details I could uncover for Albert C. Hubert were the date of his birth (1878) and the date of his death (1932). The 54 years in between remain a complete mystery. The only example of his work that I could locate was the above oil painting. To my untrained eye it looks similar to my Hubert’s etchings but I’m not sure if that’s due to the actual style or merely because the subject matter is similar. Attempts to contact various auction galleries have not elicited any response to date. Hubert’s roots may still remain an uncertainty but, as American photographer Paul Strand so aptly stated, “The artist’s world is limitless. It can be found anywhere, far from where he lives or a few feet away. It is always on his doorstep.” Wherever that doorstep may be…


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