"As a conservator of paintings in the seaport town of Falmouth, Maine, I often clean and repair portraits of 19th-century sea captains and their wives. I had finished the painting of one Capt. John Curtis and returned it to its place of honor in the Curtis Memorial Library, but was still working on the portrait of his wife. After several months of painstaking restoration, I received this post card from the library: 'I miss my mate. How clean does she have to be? John Curtis.'"