An Original

The doorbell rang and when I answered it, a beatnik awaited me. Longish brown hair, a fringe of a beard, dark sunglasses and a striped shirt stood before me. I finally had the courage to say hello and he answered with “TT here.” I had no idea what that meant so he repeated it. I had no idea what that meant so he repeated it. Finally, he took off his sunglasses and told me he was Tommy Todd. My surprised face must have looked funny because he chuckled.

Lucy had nicely arranged for her brother, the artist/painter, to visit our house to check out the bedroom wall I wanted painted. I took a very deep breath and I invited him in, barely remembering to introduce myself. Tommy followed me to Junior’s bedroom and I gave him my thoughts. He stared at the wall for a good minute or so and told me it was a bold move. But that he liked bold ideas with paint. When he told me when he would be able to do it and what it would cost, I figured that I could always paint over it if it didn’t work out.

Later that week, after everyone left for the morning, Tommy arrived and started painting. I wanted to check from time to time on the progress but Tommy closed the door. He said that he wanted to keep the paint fumes out of the house and he did have the windows in the room open. It was excruciating. I knocked and offered to make him lunch which he turned down but as far as I could tell, he only left the room to use the bathroom.

About 2 o’clock, the bedroom door opened and Tommy found me in the kitchen. He had splatters of sunset colors over his face, hands, and used-to-be white overalls. He was grinning, which I took as a good sign, and he motioned for me to follow him. The wall was gorgeous, sublime, stunning and amazing. The colors gradually climbed down to the floor in a perfect sunset.

Even better, a very lifelike small cactus had been placed on one side of the painting. It really was a giant painting. In fact, it was signed, with a scripted TT in the bottom corner.

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