Saturday, November 7, 2009

Wyeths, Moondancing, and Historians

Hello there.

See, that's different. I didn't say, Hello, readers.

Another different thing I did today was walk around the neighborhood in a women's jacket from Old Navy and a spiffy hat. People said I looked like a movie star. I'll trust them to be right.

Yesterday, Andrew Wyeth's granddaughter held court at Cheekwood Botanical Gardens and Museum of Art. This was a very ritzy place in a ritzy area called Belle Meade. There was a woman manning a gate who directed visitors where to go. Where we went was the Visitor Center.

They had a large room full of chairs which were full of people. The granddaughter, Victoria, stood at the front. Behind her were projected her grandfather's work.

Her grandfather was in love with light and belt buckles and everything. She said he loved SUVs. When he became older, in his eighties or so, he drove out in the woods, cranked the heat, and sat in the trunk, painting trees (you never met a man who could fall so in love with a tree). Another thing is he loved painting the same people over and over.

This was the true test. Looking at the same face again and again and again and finding something to be excited about. To love.

"Why do you paint people from the back," she asked her grandfather.

"Imagination," he said.

"Why did you paint that woman in the fool's cap naked?" she said.

"That's how I dreamed her," he said.

Victoria loved her grandfather very much. His death left a hole in her heart. She is still excited. She does impressions of him. She re-enacts whole conversations. She inherited his love of things. If she's coming to a town near you, check her out.

Tomorrow, I think, I may go see Doris Kearns Goodwin receive the Nashville Public Library Literary Award. Presumably, she will not be showing pictures of naked moondancing, but one can hope.

Happy Friday, readers.


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