/ DECEMBER 2012
n May of 1972, Dr. Malouf Abraham, Jr. had a visit with destiny.A bright-eyed Abraham was in New York for a medical meeting and stumbled across theBernard Danenberg Gallery. Armed with a voracious and bordering ludicrously positive disposition,Abraham found himself in kindred company. Danenberg had a Norman Rockwell for sale and, asAbraham had never seen the artist’s work in person before, he brought out the dust-covered canvas of Rockwell’s “First Day of School.” Danenberg handed Abraham a wet Kleenex and told him to wipe downthe painting. Upon revealing the glistening oil of the bashful schoolboy’s face, Abraham knew it was themost beautiful piece he’d ever seen. He had to have it. The painting cost $13,000; Abraham had just builthis practice back home in Canadian, Texas, where his wife Therese was washing cloth diapers for threeboys. “I didn’t even have a $1,000 in the bank, and I had to borrow money and pay it off in installments,”says Abraham with a chuckle. “That might be the closest we ever came to getting a divorce. It was socrazy, but it was like an addiction then. I always say it’s a good thing I didn’t try any kind of narcotics.”
THE ABRAHAMS DESCRIBE THE JOY OF GIVING. BY JAKE COLEMAN. PHOTO BY EVAN SIGMUND.
“FirstDay of School”by NormanRockwell.