Thursday, June 23, 2011

The Midnight Rescue

My friend Wayne Dunn, true to his Irish antecedents, has the gift of the gab.  He was hit in the kisser several times by the Blarney Stone and twice in the head with it for good luck.

He is a born marketer. A Saskatchewan farm boy from Big River, he is the only highschool drop out in history to hold an MBA from Stanford University.

He helped his cousin, Glen Scrimshaw,  rise from starving artist to international renown. Glen was struggling to sell a few prints at $25.  Wayne said for a piece of the action he would set out a marketing strategy that would take him up the ladder.  Glen reluctantly agreed.  Wayne doubled the price of Glen's prints.  Sales of prints doubled and revenue went up four times.  Wayne doubled the price again, sales doubled and revenue increased four times again.  Wayne sent a press release to major newspapers extolling the virtues of a rising Saskatchewan artist who had to double his prices twice in one year because demand was going through the roof.  Glen has never looked back.  Wayne's "piece of the action" - a few originals and some #1 of__ limited print editions.  I have Glen's "A Century of Memories" hanging in our stair well here in Ukraine.  Not an original.

Wayne has been drug and alcohol free for almost 25 years, having consumed sufficient in the first 33 to last normal humans three lifetimes.  Back in the days prior, he and Glen were returning home from a show in Edmonton late one night.  Here is the story in Wayne's own words.

Glen and I were on our way home from a show in Edmonton. About a 500 mile drive. It was past midnight and we were halfway between Prince Albert and La Ronge. 60 miles from anywhere. Lights came on and we were stopped by the RCMP. In those days we used to consume quantities of "lung tranquilizers"  and we inhaled. The van reeked and there was plenty to be found. I jumped out to meet the cop before he could smell the interior. Turned out it was his anniversary and he hadn't gotten his wife a present. It was midnight so he was F'd. By the time the dust settled we were leaving with some of his money and all of our drugs intact and everyone was happy. 

Years later Glen was doing some fundraising work with the RCMP Benefit Fund, donating prints and such.  He ran into the guy who told him what a lifesaver it was to stop Glen that night.  Apparently the story has made its way around the RCMP and is quite well known.  

I tried to get Glen to tell them the rest of the story but he wouldn’t.

A Century of Memories - Saskatchewan Centennial 1905-2005


  1. You're an ass! Please don't give me so much credit for Glen's career. He invested heavily in good paint by number sets! Seriously. It was a team effort with Glen and myself and later Sheldon Yurach. It did take some blarney though!

    And to be factually accurate I'm the only person in history to graduate from the Stanford Graduate School of Business without having finished high school or getting an undergrad degree.

    If Glen goes to add anything tell him he's too late and not to be believed anyway.

  2. Honest, Glen, I just wrote the story the way he always tells it.

    And if anyone wants to listen to a good speech, try Wayne's address to the 50th Anniversary of the Stanford University Graduate School of Business Sloan Program.

  3. Too good a story to miss, BF. Thanks for sharing it.

    I don't have any of Glen's works. Way too pricy for this Bear's cave.

  4. His painting are beautiful. Honestly, if I had the money I would buy one.
    This is a funny story.

  5. I always love a good, true story where law enforcement act like real people. I hear those lung tranquilizers do wonders for inspiring creativity.

  6. Excellent story and good enough to be true.


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