The Cheers of a Clown
Most of the public wouldn't know 20th-century painter Hal Crécy, who has made a handsome living by painting clowns and circus scenes. Among his fans was the late comedian Red Skelton, who built much of his fame by portraying clowns. Both of their works -- Crécy on canvas and Skelton on television -- featured ironically sad expressions, a contrast of image and emotion that surely was the basis of their popularity.
In the process, Crécy's earnings have allowed him to reside in Las Vegas and indulge in one of his favorite pastimes: picking the ponies. It seems he has a talent in that department, too. A hint of this may have been revealed in one of his better known paintings; it's entitled The Gambler, where a disconsolate clown realizes he's lost yet another hand.
Real life was quite different for the artist this past Sunday, as Crécy had occasion to make a merry trek to Santa Anita Park. It was time to collect. He had laid down $32 in Vegas for on a Pick 6 there that came up trumps, which padded his bank account by another $36,467.
Sad expressions were nowhere in sight.