What happened is this.
I published a post with depictions of elephants on March 2. It was a very popular post. I got more suggestions about elephants that I had missed than any other feature that I had written. On May 4, I published a second elephant post.
After the post appeared, Ian Wood wrote me. Ian blogs about garage doors that he sees and photographs in his walks. His Instagram page on garage doors is as close to perfection as we are permitted. It is really good. I published one post about garage doors that was 100% Ian.
He wrote: “I wanted to let you know of more ‘Berkeley elephant’ stuff in case you’re interested. A couple reached out to me and said they had an elephant garage mural, and invited me to see it. But they also had literally hundreds of elephant artifacts in their home as well. I mentioned I’d pass the info along to you in case you ever wanted to see for yourself.”
See it for myself indeed!
Ian and I went one morning before work. Oh my – it was perfect for the Tom Quirky Eye. There are hundreds, maybe thousands of elephant items. Ian took many photos that he has deeded to me for use purposes here.
Bruce and Carol Feldman have lived for the last 35 years in a house built by her parents in 1942. They have collected elephant figures and art for a long, long time.
Carol grew up in the house. Bruce grew up in El Cerrito.
Bruce kicked around Berkeley jobs. He ran the New Monk club at 2119 University, just east of Shattuck. Local rock bands headlined on weekends, but most of the time it was just a beer and pizza place for college students. The New Monk was re-named the Keystone Berkeley in March 1972 to distinguish it from the Keystone Korner.
He ran the Pegasus and Pendragon used book stores, as well as a wholesale company, Western Book Distributors on San Pablo. Avenue.
While running Western Book Distributors, an employee in the warehouse named Paul Purcell made a sketch representing Bruce’s love of elephants. Purcell and Jessica Balboni now run the The Escapist Comic Bookstore.
Bruce likes elephants and started collecting figures and art depicting them. Why?
“I liked elephants. I don’t know why.”
He goes further, imagining that all those who can’t explain something like this are detained at the gates of heaven. When New York needs another few million cockroaches, heaven will send the room full of those who don’t know why they like something back to earth as cockroaches.
The collection still grows, but not because Bruce buys elephants anymore. Once in a while he does, but many of the new acquisitions ae gifts from fiends. “When people started giving me elephants all the time, I quit buying.”
In August, 2003, Feldman went to Europe for work. Carol sprung a plan. She brought in Fred Kling. Kling was teaching in the Fine Arts Department of the City College of San Frandisco. The idea: an elephant mural in the back yard.
Agnes Yau worked on the mural as well.
What a great mural and what a great surprise! A mural in your backyard – wow.
There are a few other elephants outside near the mural.
Now the house. The main event in the main ring. Hundreds and hundreds of elephants. If you need to use the restroom, best do it now – this is a long trip.
I am a sucker for switch coveplates. This is ONE OF THE VERY BEST that I’ve ever seen. I
I was kidding before. You can use the bathroom now. We’re done with the photos that have a portrait orientation and we will move on those with a landscape format.
An elephant cake pan. Who knew????
Are you getting the picture? And that was just the photos with a portrait orientation. Now – the landscape orientation photos….
There are a few non-elephant images in the house. Here is one:
I have twice posted here and once in Berkeleyside about Eni Green’s temple to dachshunds and John Law’s collection of Dogigie Diner heads. This Doggie Diner oven mitt is just too much. If you are going to break a theme, I can’t imagine a better deviation.
I asked my friend what he thought of all the elephant stuff.
“Collectors are a different breed, for sure . Here it enhances the joy of the object. The love the Feldmans have for the elephants is apparent.”
He tossed me four photos.
This photo shows 4417 Baltimore Avenue, where I lived 1970-1971.
This is across Baltimore Avenue in Clark Park. Dickens and Little Nell is a bronze sculpture by Francis Edwin Elwell. The sculpture depicts the 19th-century British author Charles Dickens and Nell Trent, a character from his 1840-41 novel The Old Curiosity Shop.
This is on 42nd Street, between Spruce and Walnut. Gabby and I lived here from 1971 until 1972.
I thanked him. “Memory Lane to be sure. Good times!”
What about the Feldman elephant post, my friend?