Meanwhile, the FBI has been raising the stakes, issuing a bulletin to law enforcement agencies across the Northeast. Picasso was stolen from Logan Airport. I stay informed.
Days later, the King of Waterville Ice Cream arrives in Medford with his wife, Anne, a new coat, and a plan. He rubbed the painting’s packaging and box with Vaseline, for reasons that ran away from his son. Attach the handwritten note. He put on an overcoat, a brimmed hat, and gloves. Time goes.
Three years after this adventure, Whitcomb Rommel died suddenly at the age of 63; In his honor, his restaurant will remain closed until the evening’s ice cream rush. His son Bill would spend the next 30 years with Emery, rising to regional manager before retiring to South Carolina and dying, at the age of 71, in 2015.
But on Boston’s April Fools’ Day in 1969, father and son share an unforgettable moment: loading Picasso into a Chevy Impala.
Bill Rommel, wearing a black hat and sunglasses, drove them to Boston and, at his father’s direction, parked his car on Huntington Street. His father got out and carried the box a few cars ahead.
The elder Rommel loaded the painting into a taxi, handed the driver a $20 bill and ordered him to deliver the package to the Museum of Fine Arts, down the street. He returns to his son’s car and, on the way back to Medford, throws the coat, hat, and mittens into separate trash cans.