• Human Hangers
• Just a Barista
• I Need to Dance
• Can't Stop Looking Up
• Be Careful What...
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• The Collection
• I'm Jesse
      • My Birthday?
• Into the Light
• A Perfect Interview
• The Abbey
• Who You Know?
• What's This Life For?
• Bullying
• 31 Days of Christmas
• Unexpected Talent
• Just a Dog's Day
• Giant!
• Chester
• Fear or Comfort?
• You're Different
• Darren
      • Darren and the Circus
• The Surreality of It All
• Voice of God
• Sound of Silence
• Aaron
• 5350
• Resurrection
• Sicilian Sculptor

Sunday Shorts
• Another One Bites...
• Stroll with the Clouds
• Walking with Banshee

• Sans People
• Digital Detox
• Digital Art
• Relevance of a Tweet
• A Day With Tweetdeck

coming up...
• Garezurra
• Yo! Buddy!
• The Vault
• An Interesting Hike
• The Watchers
• Tears in the Fabric
• Voice of God II
• Chester II
• Azure

Just a Barista (05/24/21)

Growing up in a family where both parents came from ‘old money,’ Shawn never was lacking for anything, other than the attention of his parents. Their social status kept them both occupied full-time, attending galas, fund-raisers, and a stream of endless parties at the homes of people of similar financial means.

Shawn never fit into this world. Though he had been provided with anything and everything he could have wanted, Shawn did everything he could do to be more like the ‘normal’ kids in school—though that proved difficult going to the most expensive private schools available.

This included a 2-year stint in a private boarding school in Geneva, Switzerland. Shawn had used the time in Switzerland to travel throughout Europe instead of attending class, and was eventually sent back home once his parents found out about his “inappropriate use of his time” as his mother would say..

And as was expected of Shawn, in highschool, he was quarterback of the football team, pitcher of the baseball team, he belonged to a dozen ‘social’ clubs, and spent much of the remainder of his time just trying to make sure he ‘performed’ as his parents expected him to.

But in the little spare time he could find, Shawn just wanted to be another teenager—so he got a job as a barista at a cafe in the neighboring town. He parked his hundred-thousand dollar car down the street and walked to work, and made it a point to not do anything that might hint at the fact that his family had money.

Shawn enjoyed working as a barista, enjoyed the customer service aspect of the job, enjoyed the ability to be himself among not only his fellow staff, but also with the customers who frequented the cafe. Shawn was completely content just being another teenager.

After graduation from high school, and before heading off to the ivy league college his parents chose for him and insisted he attend, Shawn worked full shifts at the cafe, getting in when it opened at 5 am five days a week.

One of the most interesting and enjoyable encounters Shawn had was an elderly gentleman that walked in each morning at opening from his residence across the street, ordered the same large black coffee and two pastries—one pastry he took with him, the second one he tore to pieces and tossed to the birds that gathered outside the cafe.

This older gentleman was always polite, always struck up conversations with the staff, and always left a more than generous tip—a $20 bill, every day. He journeyed across the street from his residence for coffee and pastries every single day, rain or shine, at the same time every morning. It appeared to be his ritual.

Shawn had taken a special interest in the older gentleman, named Grant, simply because he felt there had to be a wonderful story behind his life—and they both got along extremely well.

After Shawn had been promoted to morning manager, with his new found position, he made it a point to make himself available every morning when Grant came in, so they could go outside, feed the birds, and have a quick chat.

“I’m an artist,” Grant explained to Shawn. “I have been all my life.”
“I’m just a barista.” Shawn explained. The comment got a curious reception from Grant.

“Young man, you are never ‘just’ anything. Being a barista is an honorable profession. You are unique, an individual, and each and every individual has a special gift they offer to the world. One day you will discover what that gift is and how valuable you are to those you encounter.”

Shawn smiled, but deep down inside, he felt he really wanted to be just a barista. That was important to him.

For Grant, being an artist was the last thing his father wanted him to be. Also coming from another family with old money, Grant was expected to take on a profession of status, and was expected to continue with the family's social status and social calendar.

Grant’s mother always felt differently, and had encouraged his artistic talents.

Grant didn’t want any of the family's social life, and secluded himself from his family to pursue his art career, continually supported by his mom, and degraded by his father. Only a couple years after moving away, his father became ill and died, followed shortly by his mother.

Grant, being the only child and heir to his parents empire, was left with the entire estate, and also with the ability to follow the career path that he chose, without any interruption, or concern, and without the fear of ever ending up as a starving artist.

Since that time, Grant pursued his art to the fullest, and Shawn felt he swelled with pride talking about his career.

Shawn now understood the $20 bill he left as a tip every single day he came in. Shawn also realized this was what allowed Grant to give the more than generous tips he gave all the cafe staff every holiday that passed—Christmas, New Years, Easter, Presidents Day—even Ground Hogs Day provided an opportunity for a tip. If it was a holiday on the calendar, Grant left each of the staff an envelope with a generous cash gift.

At dinner one night with his parents, Shawn had told them about his new friend Grant and how generous he was to those around him, only to get scolded by his mom for listening to such foolishness. “You are to conserve your money, not simply throw it away by giving it to others.”

Shawn’s dad would always just nod saying “yes dear” during these lectures on the proper use of money, but Shawn’s dad was more under the belief that “the more you give, the more you receive,” the same philosophy that the old artist Grant seemed to follow.

Shawn’s dad and his new artist friend were similar, and Shawn thought they would get along well.

One morning while on break with Grant, Shawn asked about his artwork, where he had shown it, what gallery represented him, was he successful with sales, and if he could take a look at his work.

Grant sort of shrugged and said “I’ve never sold a single painting. That’s not my purpose, I just create. Though some day, I dream the world will see my work.”

Shawn was a little stunned. Grant said he had been painting for over 60 years. Exactly what was he painting, and what was he doing with all the canvases?

Shawn had seen the deliveries of blank, stretched canvases, and large rolls of raw canvas being dropped off at the artist’s loft across the street, and had seen the old gentleman walking back from the art store with bags of art supplies.

“You should bring a few of your paintings into the cafe for display. I bet they would be really well received.” Shawn said.

The artist again just shrugged, and said he was not sure the world was ready to see his art, and he was not sure he was ready to show it.

Now Shawn was beyond curious. Exactly what were these paintings? And though every day he encouraged the old artist to bring in a piece of his work, Grant would simply reply “maybe tomorrow.” Eventually Shawn decided to no longer pursue, not wanting to anger Grant.

Summer was coming to a close, Shawn was preparing for the inevitable relocation to the chosen college, and his parents had requested his presence for dinner at one of the high-end restaurants in the area.

Shawn was telling his parents about Grant and his art, though he had never seen a piece nor a photo of any of his canvases. Shawn’s mom just told him that Grant was an old eccentric, and quite possibly, didn’t even know how to paint. Shawn’s neck muscles tightened, but he kept his cool and didn’t say a word!

Dinner ended, the family got into their car, Shawn’s mother complaining about how cold it was out that evening, even though she was wearing one of the largest furs she had in her collection. Shawn just shook his head and got in the back seat of the car.

Several miles from their home, as they rounded the corner, Shawn’s dad hit a patch of black ice and the car started to spin out of control. It hit a tree, spun the other direction, hit the curb, bounced multiple times, and rolled down the hill next to the street, his mother screaming the entire time.

And then there was nothing but silence.

Shawn opened his eyes and saw a young lady looking down at him. “He’s awake, doctor.” After a few minutes Shawn came to his senses, and realized he was in the hospital.

“How long have I been here?” Shawn asked? Two weeks the doctor explained.

“And my parents, are they ok?” The hesitation from the doctor said all there was to say. Both of Shawn’s parents had been killed in the accident. Shawn was now alone, on his own. He cried himself to sleep.

The next morning Shawn awoke and again saw the young nurse next to him. She proceeded to check his vitals, ask how he was feeling, all the normal regimen expected in a hospital. While responding to the list of questions, Shawn noticed a colorful, fiery, incredibly stunning canvas leaning up on a table on the other side of the room facing him.

The nurse noticed his puzzled look, and told him that his friend Grant had come to the hospital every morning to check on Shawn, and had brought one of his paintings in one morning hoping it would liven up the room, and assist in Shawn’s recovery.

Shawn now knew what Grant was painting, and was completely aghast that the old artist had never shown his work to anyone. If the rest of his canvases were similar, or even a fraction of this piece, they were works of a genius.

The feeling of pride swelled over Shawn realizing that only because of Shawn’s injury was Grant willing to bring in one of his paintings so that all could see. It was the first time that painting had seen a wall outside of the old artist’s studio.

An hour or so later, Grant walked in, noticeably excited. “The nurses said you were awake, I hope you understand how happy that makes me.” as he gave Shawn a gentle hug, thanking God aloud for Shawn’s recovery, and then in a very quiet, sorrowful tone, asking if he knew about his parents.

Upon finding out Shawn was aware of his parents death, Grant gave him another long hug, and told him if there was anything he could do, just ask, he was there for him. Shawn smiled, and looked over at the painting, telling his artist friend “You have done quite a lot already.”

The old artist knew immediately what he was referring to, and in an excited yet humble manner, asked if Shawn liked the painting. Shawn could sense a feeling of fear coming from Grant.

“Yes, how could I not, it is one of the most stunning pieces I have seen.” As he made the statement, he teared up a bit, thinking how his parents had always insisted he go with them to any gallery that was open, and many times, ones that were only opened for his parents.

“If your other paintings are even similar to this one, they should be in museums. It’s stunning.” Shawn proclaimed.

The old artist just smiled, and simply said “maybe someday.” He had a very difficult time bringing in this piece, but felt he needed to in order to assist in Shawn’s recovery.

Shawn said it had been quite the surprise to wake up to after those weeks of being sedated.

For the next couple of weeks, Shawn sat in the hospital staring at the painting his new friends had given him, and looking forward to the daily visits and conversation with Grant.

No other family came to visit Shawn, even though he had received several boxes of get well cards from a collection of long lost cousins, many of whom he had never met. All of them were asking for some form of financial assistance, many saying how much they ‘needed money,’ while not even asking how Shawn was doing or expressing sympathy for the loss of his parents.

Shawn was happy that he had one true friend in Grant—someone who was not interested in Shawn’s new money.

Several weeks passed, Shawn had recovered enough to be released from the hospital, and started to meet Grant for coffee and pastries every morning at the cafe Shawn had worked at. They revelled in the ability to both leave $20 bills for tips every morning, and became really good friends. And popular with the staff of the cafe.

An additional couple weeks passed, Shawn was able to return to work at the cafe, and he began to work through the details of what life would be like from that point on. Shawn was the sole heir of his parents estate, and really didn’t need the job, but asked if he could return because he needed to be among his friends.

And Shawn had decided early while in the hospital, he was not heading to college any time soon.

One cold afternoon, Shawn was getting ready to end his shift. One of the girls in the cafe screamed, and told Shawn to go across the street. As Shawn ran out of the door of the cafe, he saw Grant had just fallen and was laying on the sidewalk.

Grant was carrying several bags of art supplies he had just purchased when he reached his doorway and a sharp pain tore through his chest. Though he had opened that door and climbed up the flight of stairs to his loft for over 60 years, he would do so no more. As he lost consciousness, his world became totally immersed in color—so many colors—then everything went black as Shawn nelt next to him holding his hand.

Though 911 was called and the paramedics had arrived in a few short minutes, they said Grant had died immediately. Grant was also wearing a ‘do not resuscitate’ band on his wrist, so there would not have been an attempt to save him even if they could have.

Shawn was devastated and felt cursed. Was it his fate to have everybody in his life die?

Shawn returned to work after several days, and all of the staff at the cafe felt the difference in Shawn. He had become withdrawn and quiet. There would no longer be the friendly banter with the friendly old gentleman from across the street.

Shawn wondered what would become of all of Grant’s belongings, since during the regular conversations, Grant had never mentioned family or any other friends. Shawn had watched from the cafe to see if there was any activity in the loft that held all the old artist’s work. Nothing. He wondered what was to become of all his art.

Was the one painting Grant had given him in the hospital end up being his only known piece, and his only lasting legacy. Shawn thought Grant had to have had a will.

Several weeks later, Shawn was sitting in his home, staring at the beautiful, colorful painting that Grant had brought to him in the hospital. Grant’s death was still looming heavily on Shawn’s emotions, and he was also experiencing a sense of guilt—he was feeling worse about Grant’s death than he was about his parents.

His grief counselor said that was normal, and in time would pass. Would it?

As Shawn teared up once again, there was a knock on the door, and Shawn was stirred out of his thoughts, and got up and opened the door. There stood several individuals that, by the way they were dressed, were attorneys. His hunch was correct, and they asked if they could come in to discuss the estate of an artist named Grant Shelville.

Shawn let them in, thinking he didn’t even know the last name of his friend—actually feeling bad that he knew very little about him, even after all their frequent conversations. Shawn thought he had acquired that negative attribute from his mom. He shook off the thoughts, and concentrated on what the attorneys were saying.

Grant had left his entire estate, and all his belongings to his only friend, Shawn. Though Shawn was extremely humbled and saddened, he could feel a sense of excitement creeping up. The excitement of finally being able to see what was in Grant’s loft was almost overwhelming.

Again, there was a sense of guilt, thinking that only by Grant passing, would anybody see the creativity he possessed. That feeling would too pass in time.

After signing all the paperwork, and getting the keys, Shawn could barely keep himself from pushing the group of attorneys out the door so he could venture over to the artist’s loft.

The curiosity he was experiencing was being tempered by the sense of loss, and Shawn knew the adventure would be an emotional experience.

He arrived downtown, parked in his normal spot, and walked over to the cafe. Oh wait, habit. He crossed the street over to the corner door that he had seen Grant entering a hundred times.

Shawn unlocked the door, and looked up… there in front of him was a long, straight flight of stairs. Shawn couldn’t believe that for all those years, even after Grant had turned 80, he had climbed those daunting stairs multiple times a day, and while carrying bags of groceries and art supplies.

And had still died of a heart attack. Shawn trembled, and told himself to stop eating those pastries.

He had to hand it to Grant though, he was perseverant, or maybe stubborn. He had enough money to have found another location anywhere in the city that had no stairs, or an elevator, yet he remained at this loft.

Shawn got to the top of the stairs, unlocked the second door, and opened it into a scene that could only be explained as from a fantasy world of light and color.

Color enveloped the room, covering hundreds of canvases. They were of all sizes, small one-foot-square splashes, to full ceiling height, sizable panels of color. And the textures and forms on all the canvases took on additional lives of their own.

Shawn shouted out loud, almost in anger. “Why on earth did Grant not have the confidence to show his work? He could have sold every single one of them.” He knew the artist didn’t need the money, as evident in the paperwork he had just signed. Shawn was now not only the owner of the entire collection of colorful work from this old artist, but also of a huge, substantial monetary portfolio.

Grant definitely didn’t need to sell any of his canvases because he needed the money. Hell, Grant could have built several museums just to hold his own work. Why had Grant not seen in himself the confidence to show his work. That could remain an unanswered question.

That it hit Shawn. Maybe that was what all this death and grief was about. Maybe that was supposed to be Shawn’s purpose and direction in life, to show the world the art of his dear friend. Though the thought brought a feeling of excitement, Shawn wondered if the price had been too high.

Shawn spent hours wandering through the studio, which was actually quite large in size—it occupied the entire upper floor of the building, and included a beautiful outdoor patio that looked out over the city. The studio itself was worth a fortune.

As he continued moving canvases, seeing more and more stunning works of art, surrounded by the smell of linseed oil and paint, he noticed a desk off in the corner, immediately in front of a window with another stunning view of the city. Above the desk were a series of old, worn leather bound books, all of which matched the one leather bound book sitting open on the desk.

They were the journals of the artist—and upon initial inspection, they went back to when Grant was a child. It appeared Grant began to journal his life when he was 10—actually, on his tenth birthday. Opening the first leather bound edition, inside was a inscription from Grant’s mom, wishing him a happy birthday, and encouraging him to pursue his real gift, and journal it along the way.

Seventy plus years of an entry each day, some days filling multiple pages, and each day with at least one sketch of a work of art. Many of the sketches were rendered in the same radiant, vibrant colors and exciting form as the canvases.

Shawn leafed through several of the editions, and noticed that many of these color filled drawings resembled illuminated manuscripts of biblical text—they were stunningly beautiful.

As he turned around in the chair, he realized he had a full view of the entire studio, and all the canvases that had been created. “What a beautiful place to spend one’s day!” he said aloud.

But looking back at the books, he thought the greater wealth in the studio might just lie in the stories scribed on the pages of Grant’s journals.

Initially, Shawn was going to load all the journals into his car and take home to start going through and reading. He changed his mind as he read a couple entries towards the later section of the journal which sat on the desk.

“I have found a home for my art” was the entry. And it was in reference to Shawn, and had been written on the day when Grant had brought the canvas to the hospital room for Shawn.

Shawn ruffled through the documents in the folder he had received from the attorneys and realized that the date the artist had changed his will was that same day. He had made the decision to give everything he had to Shawn upon his death on the same day his first canvas saw the light of day as he placed it next to Shawn in the hospital.

Shawn didn’t know where to start, but thought it might be interesting to see where all of this ‘genius’ had come from, so grabbed the first edition, along with the last edition of the journals, locked the studio up and went home.

“Mum bought me a nice leather journal and said I should document my life. The book is so well made and beautiful in itself, I really didn’t want to write in it. But now that I have begun, I realize this is something I must continue my entire life.” The artist was only 10. And at the end of the first day’s complete entry was the first sketch, an abstract mass of colors and textures drawn with colored pencil.

That was the beginning of a life filled with color—and self-imposed isolation. Or thought Shawn thought.

Shawn read through the entire first journal that evening, not believing these were the words and artwork of a young boy.

He returned to the loft the next day and pulled out a journal that he thought would be a couple decades along in the life of the artist. He flipped to a page, looked at the date, and estimated Grant would have been about 28, still at the beginning of the artist’s life.

The prose was even more eloquent, and the sketches and rendering far more advanced. And along with the entry for the day, were a list of other books the artist had checked out of the library, all about the art world. He was teaching himself art history, and the multiple references in his journals chronocalled and encapsulated the lives of all of the great master artists.

Shawn took down another edition from what would be another 20 years in the artist’s life, taking him to the age of around 50. At that point, it appeared the artist had traveled the world, several times over, and had journaled all his adventures and sketched all the sites he had seen.

Shawn sat back again in the old chair, laughing as he noticed the loud screeching of the chair for the first time, and thought “what a life!” It appeared that from early in his life, the artist had traveled and painted, at a prolific rate.

After looking and reading for about an hour, Shawn finally found a section highlighting Grant’s travels to Venice—the sketches of Venetian architecture were astounding. The sketches of Carnival costumes and masks were even better, further overtaken by the sketches of the art within the palaces and museums in Venice.

As the weeks passed and Shawn flipped through more and more pages of the vast collection of journals, more and more of the world’s great cities, events and art were sketched in detail. Then the sketches of ‘reality’ that were seen during his traveling were followed by sketches of his ‘surreality’ that would become the artist's paintings upon his return.

Travel, journal and sketch, return, journal and paint. Such was the artist’s life. As the time passed and Shawn read through more and more of the journals, one thing he noticed that was religiously consistent—nothing but kind words for anybody the artist had encountered during his travels. Not a single derogatory comment had ever been noted, about anybody, or any situation.

And the journals began to match the dates on the canvases, and the full story began to take shape.

As Shawn continued to read through the collection of journals, he began to notice another trend—names and phone numbers—of contacts from every city Shawn traveled to. Oddly enough, that included a few names of people in the city in which he had his studio, and where he had died.

Shawn felt horrible that he had not reached out to these people upon Grant’s death, but outside of the journal references, there was no contact information for anybody. Anywhere.

Shawn picked up the phone.

It had been about 7 years since Grant the artist had died and Shawn had been handed his estate, including all the journals documenting his life, and all the stunning canvases that corresponded to the journal entries.

It had been a busy 7 years, an emotional 7 years, yet each day was filled with excitement and wonder. This truly had been the journey of Shawn’s life. And Shawn had just turned 25.

Shawn stood in the garden outside of the new building he had built to house not only the paintings but also the journals of the artist Grant Shelville.

He was waiting for the guests to arrive for the grand opening.

Years earlier, as Shawn had read through the journals Grant had left, a common thread of travel had emerged—regular visits to Venice. La Serenissima appeared to be the artist’s favorite and most frequented city, with the architecture of the city always taking on special entries in the journals.

When commissioning the architects to design the museum for Grant’s work, Shawn had them read through specific sections of his journals, views specific sketches and associated canvases, and asked that the building ‘resemble the surrealist version of the reality that was Venetian architecture.’

Another element of the prospectus was that upon entry to the museum, the visitor would be taken on a chronological journey through the artist’s life from the age of 10 to his death, that would include digital copies of the journal and sketches alongside their corresponding canvases.

The building had turned out to be a stunning version of Grant’s work—if a classical Venetian architect met Salvador Dali and adopted a child, that was the new museum. It was a modern cubist dream of the classic city, smacked with a big, beautiful surrealist stick.

A confluence of influences from Byzantine to Islamic with twists of Salvador Dali and Antonio Gaudi melded into elements of Italian Gothic, all with a modern, 21st century spin. On paper, the design sounded quite extravagant—in reality, it was quite stunning.

And the structure looked as if it had been designed personally by Grant.

Though marketing for the grand opening had been quite extensive, it had focused on the story of the artist, and had never displayed any of the artist’s work. Shawn had been advised this was not a good way to garner interest, but he wanted to stay true to Grant’s story, and thought this tactic would have a positive result—everybody likes a good surprise.

Grant’s painting would be the frosting on the cake, the surprise within the box.

Shawn walked into the museum, and as he had done dozens of times during its construction, and marveled at how the exterior and interior were such a dramatic contrast. Inside, the art took precedence and was a stunning display from the minute you turned the corner and started the journey through the museum.

Modeled after several other notable museum interiors, the visitor would arrive and immediately be directed to a glass elevator, where the journey to the top floor was narrated by a short history of the artist’s life, and a stunning view of the neighboring landscape.

Upon exiting the elevator, the visitor would find their way down the museum on a continual ramp through the evolution of the artist's life until they reached his final works on the first floor.

Shawn and the museum’s staff had made this journey innumerable times, ensuring that every detail was correct, and that each canvas was highlighted by its corresponding journal entries and sketches. The entire process, if one became absorbed in the writings from the artist, could easily take several full days or more to fully view.

One of the staff from the architects office had noted that the sketches in the journals were almost more mesmerizing than were the paintings, with stunning details of so many cities around the globe.

The painting that Grant had brought to Shawn’s hospital room was given a prominent location at the entrance, and especially highlighted. It was one completed later in the artist’s life, after returning from travel to his favorite city, Venice.

Shawn knew the exact spot that Grant had made the sketch from, having made the journey to Venice several times during the construction of the museum. He wanted to have a direct connection with the spirit of the artist.

As the hour approached for the ribbon cutting and for the doors to open, Shawn glanced outside and saw a mass of people assembling for the opening. He was amazed at the number of people who were interested in the story of this cloistered artist.

He had realized while reading the journals that though this artist would isolate himself in his studio to write and paint, his life was filled with journeys and adventures that allowed for a vast social network.

The names of the people he met during his travels were almost as numerous as the sketches made at each location. And Shawn had called them all.

The first couple of months after the artist’s death, Shawn had the unenviable task of calling all of Grant’s contacts and telling him about his passing. But each call turned into a memorable reliving of the incredible journeys Grant had been on throughout his life.

After a few speeches by city and local dignitaries, and a few emotional words from Shawn, the ribbon was cut, and the throngs of people started taking to the elevators and the journey through Grant’s life.

As Shawn greeted visitors throughout the day, he was amazed at the number of people who came up to thank him for creating the museum and exhibiting Grant’s work. So many of these initial visitors knew Grant—Shawn was guessing he wasn’t such an isolated person as Shawn might have thought.

These visitors included a surprising number of colorful, interesting foreign visitors that actually had met Grant while on his journeys, and were included in his journals. All of those who Shawn had called after Grant’s death were there for the opening.

Each one of them had made arrangements with Shawn’s staff prior to the opening to ensure they arrived in time for the opening, and had a chance to meet Shawn.

Shawn had noticed the joy on their faces as they reached a period during the artist’s adventures in the museum to find their names jotted down in the journal. This interaction between Grant’s living friends and the art they helped inspire was priceless.

At the end of the day, it was apparent the new museum was a success, with far more visitors than had been anticipated. As the next couple of weeks passed, and the number of visitors remained steady, Shawn was glad that he had thought forward for the future of the museum.

The current works that were displayed only represented about ten percent of Grant’s work, and the staff of the museum had put together a schedule that would rotate out works throughout a period of years. It would take two full years to display everything in Grant’s estate, then at that point, they could begin with the pieces they had opened with, in order to keep the collection fresh and the museum sustainable.

Shawn had taken a moment from all the excitement of the opening to grab lunch at the cafe located at one side of the museum. It was a specially built cafe, one that mimicked the cafe he had worked out many years earlier. He walked behind the counter, said hello to all the staff, and proceeded to make himself a coffee and plate a pastry.

Memories flooded through Shawn’s mind.

As his mind began to wonder, he could only hear the coffee dripping into his cup. “I’m just a barista.” He had to laugh at the thought, considering what he had accomplished, and what had transpired over the last 7 years.

He took a seat, and sat back admiring the work that all the artisans had done to complete the museum. It had really turned out to be quite a spectacular facility to house the works of the friendly old artist—and quite the tribute to him. Grant, the not-so secluded artist, had known before he passed that his work would be in good hands with Shawn.

Shawn was jostled back to reality hearing the sultry voice of an older woman. “Hello Shawn, may we join you?”

Surrounding him were several of Grant’s friends, from various points on the planet, all within the path of Grant’s journeys, and all mentioned extensively in his journals.

Shawn was more than happy to have company during lunch, especially with this group.
“Are we all ready for the next leg of our journey?” the sultry voiced Spanish lady exclaimed.

Shawn laughed. “Most definitely!” Each of those now at the table were ready, and excited to begin their trek.

“This museum is so very beautiful, and such a wonderful tribute to Grant and his talent.” said Lucia, in her beautiful, sultry Spanish accent. “We can only imagine the others are equally as stunning?”

The smile that beamed across Shawn’s face, and the tears streaming down his cheeks, provided the answer.

 

#hippies #Carmel #coast #drive #panhandling