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Monday, April 27, 2009

Update: S.F. Artist's Missing Paintings Turn Up -- Three Days Later -- On His Doorstep

Posted By on Mon, Apr 27, 2009 at 1:43 PM

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  • Found!
San Francisco painter Lee Harvey Roswell -- who had four of his paintings vanish off his front porch after a deliveryman left them there unattended -- still has more questions than answers today. But he also has his paintings back, even if he's not sure how.

After agonizing over the loss for days -- while struggling to finish a commissioned painting with a Monday deadline -- the artist was shocked to discover the unopened package propped against his apartment door. Somehow, after disappearing off the outside door of his apartment building, the paintings showed up inside his building, on his doorstep. Roswell, who says he had just come to grips with the loss of the four paintings -- valued at $6,200 -- spoke largely in a monotone on the phone and seemed emotionally drained.

"When this first happened, it felt like the last straw that broke the camel's back. I was so depressed," the artist said. "I'm confused as to what happened. But I am totally relieved."

Roswell is unsure if a well-meaning neighbor was holding onto the paintings or if a guilty would-be thief had qualms. But, either way, he'll take it.

"Today was going to be a day of talking to cops and putting up posters," he says. Thankfully, now he can just get on with his life.

"The whole episode once again showed me how unique San Francisco is in taking care of its own. People were quick to action -- now I've just got to let those tons of folks [I e-mailed] know to call off the hounds," he added. "Whatever the story behind what happened to the box for those three days, after being so crushed, I feel like a phoenix rejuvenated."

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About The Author

Joe Eskenazi

Joe Eskenazi

Bio:
Joe Eskenazi was born in San Francisco, raised in the Bay Area, and attended U.C. Berkeley. He never left. "Your humble narrator" was a staff writer and columnist for SF Weekly from 2007 to 2015. He resides in the Excelsior with his wife, 4.3 miles from his birthplace and 5,474 from hers.

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