Thursday, February 23, 2012

RIP Markand Thakar

[Photo by Thomas D. Ward]

The folks at Sophie's and Mona's passed along the sad news that Markand Thakar, a longtime regular at the bars, died this week. He was 82. We don't have a lot of details at the moment about a service or any possible celebrations of his life.

His artwork adorns the walls at both bars. He was a regular at the popular Tuesday night jazz sessions at Mona's. You've probably seen him there. And you'd remember having a conversation with him.

You can read about his life and work and view his art at his website, The Skunk Museum & Library. (We particularly like his oil paintings of bar scenes from the 1970s and 1980s.)

Part of his life, in his own words:

I've been asked, on numerous occasions, to explain the origins of my name and of my antecedents - and, just how did my parents, being of such different backgrounds, manage to meet? It has become obvious, that in this day of the American hyphenate, merely stating that I was born in New York City, on the 4th of July, in the fateful year, 1929 — and being the sixth child of a father born in India, and a mother born in Belgium, makes for an insufficient life history...

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After the drafting, during WWII, of my three older brothers, I began working as a gofer at a haberdashery that furnished the uniforms for Columbia's Navy ninety-day-wonders, then worked as a soda jerk — during which time I dropped out of High School. On July 18, 1946, shortly after I turned seventeen, I enlisted in the Regular Army and served for about a year in the post-WWII occupation of Japan. As a result, I joined my three older brothers as WWII veterans (all of us having served during WWII's emergency years).

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After my discharge, and over the years, I used up my GI Bill schooling allowance — during which time I worked at numerous jobs: soda jerk, bank page, RR dock worker, apprentice machinist, model maker — all the while, and from then on, I was more or less involved in the making of art. Then, from late 1953, before selling my business in 1974, I supported my wife, Betty Huber (a German Baptist, born in Meriden, Connecticut, in 1926, who was in the process of obtaining a Ph.D.) and our three children as a licensed customhouse broker and registered foreign freight forwarder. My wife of over half a century (now deceased), after obtaining her PhD. carried much of the burden of supporting the family — from 1974 on.

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We featured Thakar in a post this past Dec. 22.

[Photo by Thomas D. Ward]

8 comments:

Ivan Robertson said...

Really sorry to hear this. He and Howard used to spend hours on either side of the bar at Sophie's, I think it was one long single conversation that lasted them years. Maybe they can pick it up where they left off.

RIP

Jeremiah Moss said...

thanks for letting us know about this local artist.

randall said...

RIP.

Not sure if he even had a NY accent, but you can almost hear it come through that section of "his own words"

Marty Wombacher said...

And New York loses another unique artist and individual. Thanks for this post and the links to his artwork, it's amazing. R.I.P.

Anonymous said...

in my early 20s i used to while away hours at sophies on the weekends, depressed and lonesome and just in need of some conversation with someone, anyone. i met mark one afternoon and was elated that not only was there someone incredibly creative, articulate and friendly to talk to - but he was also half indian and half european, just like me!

i never saw him again in my other visits there, and i've moved on and away now. but i won't forget those few hours we spoke and bonded over art, life and our unique backgrounds.

rest in peace.

Uncle Waltie said...

WOW...looked at some of his Bar Scenes and was suddenly reminded of Puffy's over in Tribeca. I wasn't a regular there (too far), but I vaguely do remember meeting Markand at a wedding reception there given by the owner of Puffy's, Frank Demarco, when a friend of mine married the barback. That was around 1984-85. Didn't know that he started hanging out in the EV. I have nothing else to add to what Marty said.

Melanie said...

RIP. Thanks for sharing Grieve.

Goggla said...

Damn, this is really sad. My heart goes out to Markand's friends, family, and everyone at Sophie's and Mona's.