This is one of a series of stories we are sharing to show what’s inside CubeSmart. You not only get a peek inside our customer’s storage unit, but also a peek inside what is important to them. Thank you to Sandra, a customer of our CubeSmart store in Lake Worth, for sharing her story with us.
Sandra Thompson, also known as "The Palm Beach Artist," is an 80-year-old widow and mother of two "bachelor sons." She quips that she has been a "terrible example" for them as the possible reason they remain unmarried. She's got a sense of humor, and it's apparent in her sly grin and the satirical paintings she has hidden within one of eight books she's authored, "Palm Beach, A Retrospective, The Art of Sandra Thompson."
She says she's working on her 9th book now, which will be an autobiography. While most of her books have been about Palm Beach and it's history, she says she has an interesting story to tell as well.
Born in NY, she grew up on the North Shore of Long Island and studied art and design at Cooper Union before working with Grey Advertising as an assistant to the art buyer for Chanel, Inc. After that, she became an art buyer for Redbook Magazine. She moved to Fort Lauderdale in 1961 and took on the role of the first editorial artist for the Fort Lauderdale News and Sun Sentinel.
Sandra met and fell in love with her husband, 18 years her senior, and retired from the newspaper to raise their two sons. She says she performed many art commissions and played a lot of golf and tennis during this time. She used to be an avid golfer, even traveling to Scotland each year, but now she has "played enough golf for a lifetime" and arthritis has set in. She's played a variety of sports, but according to her, "golf was the hardest."
Her husband of 43 years passed away 6 years ago. It was his upbringing in Palm Beach that inspired her love for the "culturally rich" area. After he retired in Fort Lauderdale, he moved them back to Palm Beach in 1999. It's then that she began the work of writing a book about her husband's memories of growing up in Palm Beach. "I help people tell their stories," she says.
She also began painting pictures of some of Palm Beach's most iconic locations and buildings. Her talent was discovered by the Palm Beach Board of Realtors, who began purchasing her artwork to grace the covers of its monthly magazine, The Palm Beach Real Estate Guide. She's since produced artwork for over 80 covers.
While she's done some traveling to places like Arizona, New England, and San Francisco; she's content with staying in Palm Beach now that she's older. She says, "I travel through my artwork. Every painting is a trip."
Sandra's been a customer at the 1900 6th Ave S, Lake Worth, FL 33461 location for about eight years now. She needed a place to store the 5,000 copies of her book (mentioned previously) and loved that she could store them in an air-conditioned unit on the second floor. She says she doesn't have to worry about deterioration or flooding. She keeps some of her artwork in there, as well.
She only visits her unit once a year, as she stops in to pay her annual bill in full. Her black slacks, black long-sleeve, buttoned-down shirt, hat, and scarf, allude to her New York origins. She's recently had a fall but says that it could've been much worse, though her memory was affected by anesthesia.
Sandra continues to paint, sculpt and work with stained glass; and reminisces about the art gallery she once owned for eight years. When asked if there was anything else she'd like others to know about her, she exclaims with enthusiasm, "God is my producer and director. He gave me life and directs every moment of that."
We’d love to her how self storage has positively impacted your life. Share your #HumansofSelfStorage story in the comments.