We - my wife and I - have known Børge Birch since 1946, so, almost a half century. We have not just known him to the extent that we could manage purchase from him, but first and formost we have liked him much from long before he became all of Denmark's"Golden Børge". Actually, there was very little gold around Børge during many of the early years of our friendship. However instinctively, we felt that we had met a great man, and we have saved our fairly extensive exchange of letters which we received from that fabulous art dealer. Like this letter which we got after Børge's eightieth birthday, which was celebrated on the Island Læsø:
Many thanks for your visit + 3 bordeaux, vintage '82 and for your talk at table. Yes you very probably are the one person outside the Birch family who knows me best. You might as well face it, without you, no book about Børge (will see the light of day). All the same, that does not distress me - I try to look forwards to when we meet at FIAC-86.
With loving greetings, Børge.
That letter sent my thoughts flying back to the time of many fun and happy hours with Børge. This, among others: It was probably around the year 1960.
"Hello, this is Børge.
My car has broken down. We are on our way back to Denmark, after summer holidays, Karie, Anette and I. My red Saab got overheated on the German Autobahn, and I cannot go any further. Can't you come down here and collect us?" I had to tell Børge that I, without prior warning, can't just put everything aside and at the drop of the hat take off for Germany. I explained that he and the family had to take the train to the Danish border, then I would pick them up there. Early the next morning I was with my car in Kolding, where the Birch family had spent the night at the Mission Hotel.
Børge was somewhat sour-tempered the entire distance, but I suggested that the whole family ought to drive with me to our place and stay for a couple of days. Their stay with us was not for just a couple of days, but for nearly a couple of weeks, but it was lots of fun and we had a delightful time together.
One day while visiting us, Børge hit upon the idea, that today he would take care of preparing and cooking the food.
Børge took off for town to shop for groceries, and at the butchershop where with great savvy he had bought meats for the feast, suddenly his eye caught sight of a bowl of shrimp salad."Say, sir, how much is the price of your shrimp salad?" I don't recall what the price for shrimpsalad was in 1960, but let's say that the price was 3½ crowns per 100 grams, and that, this being so, that price which the butcher mentioned. "Now just hear me out, I'll give you 12 crowns for that which is in the bowl". The butcher was a bit unsure and mentioned weighing its contents, but Børge said, "no, no weighing", and the butcher gave in and said OK. "But now I would like to have it weighed", said Børge. It weighed to 24 crowns - Thats Børge in a nutshell.
We are quite pleased that the book about Børge, indeed in some way,is beeing accomplished. Børge was a fantastic person and brilliant entrepreneur in his art dealership. It is he who has paved the way and showed subsequent galleries how well the job can be done. May he be the inspiration for Anette's new "Galerie". This is the fondest of all our best wishes for Børge Birch's daugther.
P.S. During his visit in our home, we agreed with Børge that we ought to purchase a sculpture by Jørgen Haugen Sørensen.