Sunday, June 20, 2010

R.I.P. Leonard and Basil

Two of Cape Town's well-loved characters died last week. Leonard worked in many of the shops that I've frequented over the years. Be-pierced and Dali-esque, Leonard was hard to ignore. Always friendly and full of ideas. One night, for an exhibition opening, he asked a friend and I to wrap his legs in cling film. He wore those see-through pants with a tuxedo jacket.
Basil was the proprietor of Bristol Antiques in Long Street, one of my favourite haunts. He was cultured and soft spoken. He said to me once as I left his shop:"You are such a lovely young lady." I saw him two weeks ago at Ashbeys and we spoke about glass and books. He was one of the last true gentlemen.
I'll miss you both.

1 comment:

tanja said...

How very sad to hear of Leonard's passing. Basil I did not know well.

It's good to remember that Leonard lived his life on the edge, always ready to experiment, play and have a laugh. And yet, mad hatter as that he often played, the man had his wits very closely about him. Closer than most, often. He was king of the lightning fast put-down and the sharp comeback on his throne behind the counter at Bruce Tait's collection of gags, cheap thrills and eclectic finds, always ready to have a good banter. May your sense of fun live on in Long Street, Leonard.