Dry Cleaning Meets The Peter Principle


CENTRAL CLEANERS©2015 Felice PanagrossoOil on Canvas20 x 24 inches
©2015 Felice Panagrosso
Oil on Canvas
20 x 24 inches


“It’s better to have loved and lost than to have to do forty pounds of laundry a week.”  – Laurence J. Peter

When I first read this quote I didn’t know who Laurence J. Peter was, so I looked him up.  He is a Canadian educator, author and Hierarchiologist, who, with Raymond Hull,  wrote the book  The Peter Principle: Why Things Alway Go Wrong.   The Peter Principle humorously states that in modern organizations, people are promoted to their level of incompetence, which is where they stay.

I’ve experienced the Peter Principle in my own life when it comes to laundry.  I don’t know how many articles of clothing I’ve shrunk, scorched or bleached by accident.  When it comes to ironing a dress shirt, short of permanent-press or someone doing it for me, I take the shirt to the cleaners.

This small dry-cleaning shop is on Main Street in East Haven, Connecticut, about a half mile from the subject of one of my previous paintings, “Fairmount Theater”.   There are so many things I love about this place: the color of the faux stone facade (which reminds me of the ochre color of Parisian apartment buildings in the sunlight),  the neon sign advertising “Fur Storage Vault,”  and last but not least, the small bright green and red neon sign in the window which reads “Organic Dry Cleaning.”

Central Cleaners is number ten in my “Sign Painting” series.




4 thoughts on “Dry Cleaning Meets The Peter Principle”

  1. I’m giggling at the “organic dry cleaning” and “fur vault” too…. until I read your post, I didn’t quite compute the vault thing 🙂

    • Hi Helen,
      Thanks for your message. That’s great, I’m glad you got a kick out of the painting before even reading the post. “Fur Vaults” are an old-fashioned thing in the US. I guess to protect the furs from insects during the summer months. I thought it was a great juxtaposition with Organic Dry Cleaning. The Old meets the New.

  2. I too giggled when I read “organic dry cleaning” – great painting.
    The thought came to me did you ever sketch or paint “Louie’s Lunch? in New Haven?
    I drove by it 2 weeks ago on my way to return a rental car in a snow storm – it
    hasn’t changed a bit!

    • Hi Susan,
      Thank you, I’m glad you like the painting. No, I’ve never painted Louie’s Lunch. And it will make a great post. Thank’s for the suggestion. I’ll start on it when in New Haven this July. I’ve also got a request to paint the Anchor Bar.

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