“There can be nothing in the world more beautiful than the Yosemite, the groves of giant sequoias and redwoods, the Canyon of the Colorado, the Canyon of the Yellowstone, the Three Tetons; and our people shoud see to it that they are preserved for their children and their children’s children forever, with their majestic beauty all unmarred.”
– Theodore Roosevelt, Outdoor Pastimes of an American Hunter 1905.
“That’s worth about $20 at auction,” Larry Mroczek said matter of factly.
As if he’d seen everything before, including me and my picture. The one I’d just lugged down Third Street with a frame the size of a small canoe. Mroczek Brothers Auctioneers have been in business for more than 45 years. Larry is the patriarch of the family.
As we stood, Larry and I, considering the subject of my painting, the image of a woman peering deeply into a peach-sized glowing fireball held aloft in her fingertips.
“According to my husband,” I begin feeling a little like I’ve just pulled my Dorian Gray out of the attic, “I have unwittingly amassed art with a similar theme.” I smiled at Larry. The watercolor scroll was called “A Woman Searches the Unknown by Following her Heart.”
Larry was a bit intimidating. He was cool as a cucumber. His demeanor reminded me of a thousand-year-old vampire in the presence of an only slightly amusing human. I don’t mean to compare him to the undead — he was sophisticated in a worldly, no nonsense, Donald Trump sort of way.
And here I was wearing a Transformer T-shirt, black muddy leather boots and jeans with mud caked at the knees.
Amelia was drawing on her art table when she asked me how to spell, scroll. I thought it was a bit odd but answered her without question…even though she’s only seven, she’s an amazing artist with a deep soul.
Fifteen minutes later I was brushing my teeth when she handed over a white, rolled “papyrus” style scroll. I unravelled it and discovered some sage advice.