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Buzzings ‘Bout Baideme’s Barcelona… ‘The Old Lake Captain’

July 3, 2008
…by Marybelle Beigh
Some of you may remember that many business signs around Westfield were painted by Tony Baideme, who, as a 17-year-old aspiring artist, got his start working in an old sign shop on Elm Street, Ben Putnam, Proprietor. While working at Putnam’s, Tony painted from a post card a picture of two Barcelona fishermen, which Mr. Putnam liked so well, he kept it.

In the winter of 1958-59, after the painting had long since disappeared, the daughter of the fisherman, whose face showed in the painting, asked Mr. Baideme if there was any chance he might do another picture of her father. “Tony sat down, and, from MEMORY, painted another, larger picture of the two old lake captains, playing cards in a row boat. The likeness is so perfect that the great-grandson of Captain Gottschalk immediately recognized his great-grandfather when shown a photograph of the painting.”

The painting, in March of 1959, was on display in Arden E Beckman’s insurance office window. Theresa Baideme provided a color photograph of this second painting, which was shown in a black and white composite photo of this painting and of the artist, Mr. Baideme, in the March 18, 1959, Westfield Republican on page 1.

A search of the Patterson Library photo archives unearthed a photo postcard of Capt. Gottschalk, a photocopy of a black and white photo of three lake captains playing cards in a rowboat, and a colorized photograph of the same. The black & white photocopy lists the names of the three fishermen as John Gottschalk, Martin Shay, and John Jackway, while colorized photo (courtesy of Peter Crandall 5/16/06) lists Tony Gottschalk, Mike Shay, John Jackway, c. 1900, Boat: “O’ Peter”.

The postcard is postmarked 1907, and was mailed to Miss Bernice Gollnitz, Mayville NY, with the message, “Do you remember this face of old Tony” and was signed “Dady”. The postcard was later donated (to the Patterson Library from the addressee, and apparently was provided to the newspaper, as there is a notation, “WR 3 Col”.

As of March, 1959, when the 2nd “Old Lake Captain” photo was published and viewed, the following genealogy history of Capt. Gottschalk was provided - Captain Gottschalk had a son, John, and daughter, (name not given). The son, John, and grandson, known as “Buster”, were killed in 1935 when the fishing tug they were sailing to Ashtabula, exploded. The Captain’s other grandson, Donald “Puddy” Gottschalk, Mrs. Gottschalk (probably the widow of the Captain’s son, John), and two great grandsons, Michael and Charles, were living in Barcelona. Donald’s wife Leola “Loie” (Thomas) Gottschalk had passed away sometime prior to 1959.

If any reader has other paintings to share, please contact Theresa Baideme at her cell phone # 716-969-1893, or email address,'> Thanks so much!

Article Photos

The painting.



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