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Downton Abbey was a British television series of some grand success. That show brought home to a hungry public the vast differences between the rich family life of the landed gentry, and the barely above misery of the servant class always trying to serve and accommodate them.   Lake Geneva is no stranger to the placement, ownership and appearance of landed gentry living rich family lives. Unlike what was fictionally revealed in that television show, however; the nail-biting, worried, and many times maligned working class taking care of their very rich family life need, usually goes unnoticed and undiscussed because of confidentiality agreements, language problems and geographic displacement. Not so the developing case of what some refer to as the Bon Bon home over there in the appropriately named Bonnie Brae Estates (actually owned by Bonnie Deutsch). A lawsuit has been filed that threatens to blow the entire lid off of the percolating mess on the edge of the water. The Bon Bon estate sits right next to the lapping waters of Lake Geneva’s shoreline in Town of Linn. The part of Town of Linn that is down from Snake Road, just west of Geneva Lake. The “quietest” part of the lake.

Bonnie dumped Joe and the reason for that abrupt lockout, separation and total shut down of all communications goes back to two suitcases. No, not the ones found along Highway H between Town of Geneva and Lake Geneva with the bodies in them! If Joe’s work is reviewed by any competent critic, they quickly pick up on the fact that Joe has explored and worked in the area of cross dressing men. Joe even used himself as a model for some of his works. Sexuality, latent and sometimes more obvious, permeates his work, particularly when he works in acrylic paint.

Right after Joe was tossed out on his ear (the locks were changed at the lake residence he and Bonnie shared. No more visits, calls or written communications were ever again accepted by her. Her son wrote Joe a letter to tell him that he wasn’t getting any of his stuff back (the sculptures still adorning the estate) and that “it’s over.”

And then the suitcases arrived from Bonnie. Only two suitcases. What was in them? There were two suitcases of women’s dresses and shoes that Bonnie had found. The message in their delivery was not written and it was not verbally expressed either. But the conclusion Joe took away, and others have shared with him, is that Bonnie wanted nothing at all to do with either Joe’s perceived sexual persuasion (as she might have come to view it) or that controversial part of his body of artwork.

Yesterday, Joe’s bull dog attorney, Nate Cade out of Milwaukee, filed his lawsuit in Walworth County Court. The same lawsuit was filed earlier in District Court (it was mistakenly reported by the GSR that the original lawsuit was filed in Federal Court, and that was not accurate).

Bonnie Deutsch told reporters from the Chicago Tribune that she has been storing and taking care of Joe’s art work all this time. “He’s welcome to come and get it back at any time,” the Tribune story alleges. Why did Joe have to sue? What obligations do wealthy patrons have to the artists they help to make famous? If they don’t like something in the art, do they get to simply evict the artist, keeping whatever’s left of his stuff that they do like when the artist is tossed out? This story about how the Geneva Lake upper crust conduct themselves with the people who serve them, will continue.


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