Painting bought for $1 in Ohio thrift store on its way to artist’s family in Calgary

It’s a painting that only cost a dollar to buy, but it’s priceless for one Calgary family.

The painting in question is one of a bouquet of flowers, and Melissa Pawley bought it from a Goodwill in Cincinnati, Ohio.

When she did a reverse Google Image search of the signature, she came across a painting of poppies with the same signature. She sent a message to the poster.

“I figured she would either think I was crazy, or she would be happy,” said Pawley. 

The woman on the other end of the conversation was Julie Van Rosendaal, CBC Calgary’s food guide. She recognized Pawley’s thrifted artwork right away.

“It was fairly clearly my grandfather’s painting,” said Van Rosendaal.

Her grandfather, Frans Van Rosendaal, disappeared while flying a small plane in Hawaii in the late 1960s and was never found. Now, his family has another piece of his life to remember him.

Van Rosendaal has no idea how her grandfather’s painting ended up in Cincinatti, but it’s on its way home. Pawley is sending the painting to Calgary — at no charge.

When the painting arrives, Van Rosendaal is giving it to her dad as a birthday gift.

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