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The Mysterious Mr. Kirlin by Eddie Flotte
The Mysterious Mr. Kirlin by Eddie Flotte

The Mysterious Mr. Kirlin

We pulled to the curb on South Street. I was surprised to find the old Voodoo Store unchanged, it's cluttered window displaying skulls, bones, potents, powders and the rest. The influx of well-to-do's had transformed this neighborhood but hadn't changed Madame Clara's. Two large Black men in suits and sunglasses stood guard at the right and left of an adjacent door. "I wanted to show you my office," said Kirlin. The two men greeted him with a nod. He unlocked the door. We descended a steep flight of dimly lit stairs and briskly walked through a long, dank hall lined on each side with assorted shelves baring lit candles and countless saintly statues. At the far end, was a door. He turned three keys in three locks and pushed. Inside was complete contrast: a well lit air conditioned room, two desks, computers and telephones, filing cabinets, maps, charts, a water cooler, copy machine, a pot of coffee and a small fridge. At one desk sat his secretary, pretty but not exotic. Music was playing from a small radio:Yesterday Once More, by The Carpenters. He introduced me to Celest. They caught up on this and that, he looked over some files, checked his messages and we left. We drove to the Reading Terminal Market. There he met privately with an Amish man in the back of this tented shop. In it hung plucked chickens, skinned rabbits etc. We drove into West Philadelphia to a store front Baptist Church. He carried a brown paper package tied up in string. We sat listening to the tamborine slinging and praise and worship singing until Kirlin was summoned. He returned, unburdened of the package. In the Italian market we each had a water-ice, we drove back to Grassy Sound. On the way I asked what 'that' was all about. "Just work," he said. "Taking care of business." In this painting you see the door leading out from his small, simple bungalow at Grassy. This is where he clears his mind and recharges his batteries, un plugged and off the grid.
— Eddie Flotte


All images are signed by the artist.
Some images available upon request
as Giclee prints.
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