This is my latest in yesterday’s GoLocalProv
The day started well but drifted a bit toward afternoon. Diane and I were excited to be going to the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston. It is one of our favorites, and this day we were going to see the Botticelli exhibit.
We were not disappointed. The museum castle surrounds landscaped gardens with a peripheral hopscotch of rooms chock full of treasures … extensive collections of European, Asian and American paintings, sculptures, tapestries, furniture, manuscripts, rare books, architectural fragments, and decorative arts.
The Botticelli’s were a surprise. Crisp, captivating and detailed, the stories created in his paintings were considered a beacon leading back to the light: Lucretia’s rape led to the overthrow of the monarchy in 510 BC; Virginia’s murder moved Romans to rebel against their increasingly despotic governors a few decades later. A woman’s message, painful yet so relevant, delivered centuries ago.
To accompany the exhibit, the museum commissioned Karl Stevens, a well-known Boston-based graphic novelist, to add to the show; rendering Botticelli’s two tales in comic-book form from the women’s point of view, shifting each story from political allegory to the violent thing that it is. Two splendid educational exhibits.
We capped the morning with lunch at the Museum’s café.
And then things changed. As we were driving through a less than upbeat section of Boston, our car died. Yep. Dead; dead as in we were frozen in place. I was afraid to look in the rearview mirror at the stream of stopped traffic as I heard the blaring horns. Diane called AAA. As we sat holding up what seemed like the city for forty-five minutes, we were aided by a most hospitable, neighborhood, gap-toothed, garrulous gentleman who told us that he worked for a mechanic and had a host of ideas for us to get started. I told him we’d rather wait for AAA. “OK, sure.” Undaunted and industrious, he found two traffic cones, from a nearby business, placed them well to the rear of our car and directed traffic away as he called the police.
“I gotta call them or you’ll get towed and it will cost you a lot, Buddy.”
“AAA is on the way,” I replied.
“OK, OK.” The police moseyed by, stopped a moment, looked and coasted along as our friend stood between us. He turned to us and with a nod, smiled, “See, ya gotta take care of it.”
When the tow arrived, we thanked our noble stranger for his help and rewarded him appropriately.
Now, with car on the truck’s platform and us in the front seat, we trekked to the outskirts of Boston to a repair facility.
“We can’t help you. Our mechanic left for the day.”
Our driver, Robenson D, took careful, considerate care and delivered us to a Ford dealership in Norwood miles away. He could not have been more engaging or kind.
The dealership welcomed us, called for a rental and off we headed for home, finally.
Gardner, Botticelli, Stevens, roadside heroes … quite a day.