Of St. John’s’ many graffitied retaining walls, the most desperately romantic was sadly covered up some time ago. On the east end of Duckworth, hovering above the dirt lot across from the Sir Humphrey Gilbert Building, in thick, green, house-painted strokes, it spoke:
“Ed ♥’s Kelly “
“My heart beats Kelly with blood as red as the envy of every other man”
Incongruous punctuation and mixed metaphor suggested a relationship gone haywire. I guess we can assume the author’s heart didn’t actually beat Kelly with blood. But what was he trying to express? Was this a jealous, lovelorn apology? Did he want Kelly back? Or was it a chest-thumping declaration that he already had what every man wanted – Kelly?
When the scrawl was painted over, it seemed the puzzle would never be solved.
Just blocks from this wall, one of St. John’s’ long-lost murals was recently restored. In 2004 the City of St. John’s sought out photographs of the Golden Pheasant Tea ad that once decorated the side of the East End Club. That summer, $10,000 was spent restoring it.
In the spirit of Valentine’s Day and bitter sweetness of love, the City might consider the same undertaking, and restore the former glory of “My heart beats Kelly” – and at a fraction of the cost.
(Anyone have bucket of green paint?)
– Lesley Thompson