But I could have just ordered them from a superstore and have them ship to Puerto Rico, right? No, it does not work like that. Freight orders are more expensive there and a truck of that size could not drop them at any of my relative’s homes. So I knew I would have to order them from an art store.
On a whim, I decided to find out if my childhood art store was still in business, and they were! They had a page on FB! The person who promptly got back to me on FB is the grandchild of the original owners, who I met back in the late seventies. I never learned the names of the couple who patiently answered the questions posed by my 13 year old self, but I remember being driven there by my dad, who would wait in the car.
Right away I decided to order from them. Everywhere I go I try to leave my money at these smaller art supply stores (with the exception of Jerry’s Artarama) because they give beginners more information, are more patient with students, and stock supplies from little-known manufacturers. Remembering how Amsterdam Art, Pearl and Utrecht were replaced by superstores has made me very aware of the importance of supporting smaller businesses.
Almost half of the order will be waiting there for me when I arrive, and I will pick up the other half later.