The James Kelly article in the Eagle & Journal on Oct. 27 on my talk regarding the Ramos Martinez murals at the Coronado Public Library was indeed well done. A short article of this nature can only summarize the lengthy talk that previously took place at the Coronado Roundtable meeting, so Mr. Kelly should not be taken to task for any omissions. My presentation did credit the Theberges for their gift of the El Dia del Mercado mural, which would not have survived if they had decided to tear down the building. I had the pleasure to work closely with Gus and Barbara Theberge throughout the project involving the two murals’ acquisition and installation at the Coronado Library.
It should be noted, however, that two murals were sold by the Theberges. The smaller floral still life, the “Canasta de Flores,” was put up for sale in a showroom in Beverly Hills, where I found out about it and discussed it with the Friends of the Coronado Library, who bravely decided to purchase it for a large sum. Another large mural was sold to a movie producer. The large El Dia del Mercado was not restored when it was donated by the Theberges. The Coronado Public Library Board of Trustees undertook the cost of this project, along with the costs of installing the mural in the newly remodeled library building over the 2003-2005 period. The mural had to be trucked to Los Angeles for restoration, which took over a year. The total costs of all phases of this project were paid for by Library Board Trust Funds that came from a bequest from the late June Muller, a former reporter for the Coronado Eagle & Journal.
We should all be thankful that these elements worked out and that a world-class work of art with Coronado origins is still with us. It could have turned out much different.