Before the pandemic struck, I was planning a yet-to-be-taken family vacation to Boston. 

I planned to fly us to southwestern Ontario to visit family before driving to Boston. On the return trip, we would stop at Cooperstown in upstate New York, home of the National Baseball Hall of Fame (American).

This trip would have been an incredible once-in-a-lifetime chance for my son and I to visit the hallowed halls that enshrine the best players, managers, umpires, and pioneers of the sport we both love.

All the greats: Mickey Mantle, Babe Ruth, and Ty Cobb for me; Ken Griffey Jr., Derek Jeter, and Cal Ripken Jr. for my son. It would have been a very full day. And, I’m sure my wife and daughter would have been done in about 17 minutes, including a gift shop visit.

I was pleasantly surprised to learn that this trip would have been a once-in-a-lifetime chance for my wife, the artist, too.

However, after sharing my plans for an 8-hour drive to Boston (and then back), I was pleasantly surprised to learn that this trip would have been a once-in-a-lifetime chance for my wife, the artist, too.

She was downright giddy when I told her we would be travelling through upstate New York.

Just as I’ve learned much about painting and art over our years together, she has learned much about baseball and can speak much of the sport’s jargon. As a result, learning that a trip to Cooperstown meant as much to her as it did to me was a special moment.

“The Golden paints factory is in New Berlin,” she said.

Um. Ok. Interesting.

It turns out the factory that makes all her favourite paint and paint-related products is a half-hour drive from Cooperstown in a small town named after the German capital, except clearly newer.

New Berlin is a short drive from Cooperstown.

So much for that special moment. She wasn’t having the same moment I was.

Golden Artist Colors are her chosen paint. She has been using them since she graduated with her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from the University of Alberta. For nearly every project she has ever undertaken — whether massive murals, her vibrant paintings, or her small-scale mixed media minis — she has used Golden products.

To be clear, this story isn’t a paid advertisement (I wish). Cha ching.

She shared with me all the details during our special moment: The factory offers tours on Tuesdays and Thursdays only; it’s located on Bell street; there’s an AirBnB in the next town; and so on. 

Here, I spent hours planning a trip to Boston and Cooperstown, figuring out a budget, places we could stay along the route, the size of a rental car to hold us and our suitcases, and how many days this trip would take. 

Over there, from her blue easy chair in the corner of our living room, she’s reciting to me a side leg to a paint factory for a trip she had only learned about three minutes ago. Three minutes.

How did she know all of this off the top of her head? It’s a paint factory, for crying out loud! 

It’s not like van Gogh art is on display; nor is Rembrandt immortalized within the hallowed, plain white halls. It’s paint. Paint!

Such is life when you’re married to an artist. They’re passionate about their paint… and the factory it’s made in, I learned.

As she continued to recite more factory details, I began in my mind to add the paint-filled leg to our trip, including the additional suitcases we would need to carry the extra paint in our soon-to-be upsized rental car.

The only two questions I had — that remain unanswered to this day — were:

  • Would we be taking both the Tuesday and Thursday tours? And,
  • Would that nearby AirBnB fit a family of four or was it for only one person?

Maybe someday post-pandemic I’ll find out the answers to these questions.