The phone range in the middle of the night. Damn, who could be calling me at this hour? “Hi, Mike it’s your Bro. George. I’m going to be in Albuquerque next Monday. Could we meet for lunch? Of course, I can’t drive up to Santa Fe. That’s much too far.” It’s fifty miles. He’s screaming into the phone. He’s very deaf and refuses to wear a hearing aide. He’s ten years older than me. I say, “Sure, let’s meet at the Albuquerque Museum. They have a nice café and currently have a good show on Turkey. “George says, “ I doubt that any museum in New Mexico has anything that is of a quality that I need to see it. If it’s on Turkey, I’ve probably seen better in it’s original state in Turkey, but O K.” My brother, Mr. Smart Ass, PHD in physiology.
It was May 2000 and I got to the Museum a half hour before he was to arrive. I had with me two of my big paintings, 20”X40”. A guard was standing outside the front door, smoking a cigarette. In my best Hitlarian voice I said, “Would you get the door!” He dropped his cigarette and ran and held open the door. I walked in and acted like I owned the place. I found a small room at the back of the museum and hung up my two paintings.
When George arrived, we toured the exhibit. When we finished, he said, “Not a bad show. Of course, I’ve seen better in Turkey.” “Of course, (Mr. smart ass) but I’ve heard that the museum has acquired a major new painter, who is going to be in the lime light and I knew that you would want to be one of the first to see him”. I led him into the room with my paintings. We were silent as he meticulously studied the paintings. Then, he said “WOW.” He looked at me and seconds later, he smiled and said, “yours?” I smiled and took the paintings down. I expected to be stopped on my way out of the museum and had a story prepared. The same guard, who had been smoking the cigarette, saw me coming, ran and held open the door. I could have been stealing two O’Keeffe’s. George was unusably quite during lunch, except for an occasional giggle.