My Friend Mary Tornetta likes to post “old time” photos on her Facebook page. One day I got inspired to write a funny caption to one, and have been at it since! This story seems appropriate to this blog!
Two separate artists: a cellist and a plein air painter! What a photo, right? Well as usual, there is more-much more to the story!
Paris, 1954. Rene and Jacques Bouillabaisse are identical twin brothers who have gone on separate artistic paths. Rene the painter, and Jacques the musician. Both are successful in their fields, but there is a sinister reason for their “chosen” areas of artistic endeavor. You see, both brothers were born mute. Though all their other senses were highly developed, neither could speak a word. Their parents, Gigi and Hector Bouillabaisse want the best for their boys. Art, music, and dancing lessons. The boys will grow up to be famous! “Rene shows real musical talent and Jacques can draw anything!” said Gigi and Hector. So, pushed hard. the young men study and practice and become wildly successful. The only problem was that because they couldn’t talk, the Bouillabaisse brothers had been schooled in the opposite discipline that they had really wanted. The parents had mixed them up! Rene had wanted to play the cello, and Jacques had wanted to paint- but each had been given the wrong lessons. One day, shortly after this photo was taken, the young men came up with an idea: perhaps, if they became one person, their talents would be interchangeable! They could do both painting and music! Thus was born the idea of the first ever reverse Siamese Twin operation. Instead of being surgically separated, they would be joined. It remained only to find a surgeon who would agree to this difficult and dangerous operation. Luckily for the twins, living in Paris at the time was Dr William “Just Fork it Over Honey” Gingersnap, the world famous plastic surgeon. Contacted by Rene and Jacques, and after agreeing on a hefty fee, Gingersnap agreed to attempt the operation. All seemed to go well, but after being in intensive care recovery for 23 years, in May of 1977 both twins died, having never had the chance to practice their respective true callings. A plaque commemorating the groundbreaking yet unsuccessful operation can still be seen on the Hopital Saint-Antoine in Paris. Their goal-never achieved in their lifetime-has since inspired many, for today you can find artists who both paint and play the cello-thus their memory lives on!