Day 78, busy Saturday

Saturday, 2/16/2019

A busier Saturday than it had to be, as it turned out. The Museum is preparing to open its new Education Center, and I am signed up for two events related to that. The first was for docents only, today, from 11:30 to 2pm. And I was signed up to lead a tour at 2pm. The other event is for the public, next Saturday, starting with a brunch at 10am. Somehow I had mixed up these two events and thought today’s started at 10, so I arrived at the Museum at 10, and spent a while searching all the conference rooms etc. for the meeting until I got myself straightened out and had an hour to kill. Anyway…

The Education Center is going to be a very interesting experiment. It’s a cleverly designed space that can be put to all sorts of uses. We’ll see how it goes.

There was a biggish crowd — probably 35 or so — for the 2pm tour, and I managed to keep at least 25 of them to the end. I’m getting better at ending my talk cleanly, so the audience knows it was the end, and will start clapping. Often before I just kind of wound down and nobody realized I was finished; they would kind of stand around waiting for what I’ll say next, and I don’t have anything. Today there was a definite end and a nice hand.

Then home for a one-hour turnaround before heading out to Chuck and Suzanne’s place for a concert. They are music teachers and I expected student work, but in fact the star was Hanna Huang whom Suzanne introduced as “a professional musician who happens to still be in high school” and this was not overstatement. She ripped through a Beethoven Sonata with the skill and authority of a much older musician. After that I wanted to jump up and yell “Brava” but the rest of the audience of 40 or so — mostly parents and relatives, I would guess — didn’t stand, so I didn’t. Hanna also accompanied a young baritone, Austin Thompson, singing two Schubert leider, and then she was joined by a high-school-age cellist and violinist to do a Brahms trio. They played that very competently but I kind of lost the thread in that long and complex piece and my mind was wandering. Kudos to the kids for just being able to play it.

During the snacking and hospitality period after the music I managed to get some time with Chuck, to ask him if he would represent me in selling the house, and was glad when he said he’d love to. He was our agent back in the 80s, first selling an apartment house in Menlo Park, and then buying a rental complex in Seattle. Those deals were the real foundation of our fortune, such as it is. We came back from our years in England with a surplus of cash, which we put into the Menlo Park place; then (with Chuck’s help) did a tax-deferred trade-up for a larger place North of Seattle. I’m trying now to remember when we sold that; it must have been late in the 90s. Anyway the appreciation on those properties left us comfortably fixed. So I am confident Chuck can help getting the best value out of the house here.

 

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