My Grandfather's words are heard over the collective conversations of a cafeteria at the J. P. Getty Museum, in Los Angeles, California. Here the private art collection of the Getty aristocracy is displayed for free, perched on a hillside overlooking Santa Monica to the southwest.
Although he and I are sitting amongst one of the most impressive private art collections in the world, he is most interested in the soup. He grows older and every time I see him he looks tired and weathered by time. After finishing lunch we walk towards the gardens.
"That's a ten dollar plant at Home Depot," he says. The museum cost upwards of a billion dollars and is covered in Italian marble, yet here is my grandfather noticing a hundred dollar row of plants. He was a homicide detective for the LAPD, which honed his wits and keen sense of observation. But his strength is leaving him and mild walking tires him out. "Sean you'll catch a cold out here let's go," he says.
He says that I'm cold because he won't admit that he's cold. "All right Grandpa. I just want to see the photography exhibit, then we'll leave," I say. We walk atop a marble veranda up near long and low steps leaving towards the photography exhibit. The wind laps against his Members Only jacket while the sun hangs high over Santa Monica.
I laugh and walk up those long marble steps, following the man I always admired through my childhood. And though his steps are smaller and his paced has slowed, he always manages to see the forest through the trees. While I enjoyed his company more than any of the art, the minestrone soup was pretty good too.