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Saturday Jul 06, 2013
Night of the Collector
I had spent many months in setting up a meeting, and it seemed that my efforts had paid off. An influential art collector was coming to my home in the Hollywood Hills on Wonderland Avenue in Laurel Canyon. She arrived promptly at 7:30 p.m. that evening. After our cup of tea, I was ready to show her a selection of my paintings. In the instant I began setting up for the private showing, there was a knock at the door. A policewoman matter of-factly informed me that I had to evacuate the house immediately. There had been a bomb threat in the area. All the residents on the street had to drive down the hill until it could be sorted out, one way or another.
My slightly nervous art collector took it as an adventure; I took it as a conspiracy. I grabbed my two Yorkies, Larry and Beau, and began the winding drive down the mountain; the art collector followed me in her car. At various checkpoints along the steep road, police barricades waved us on until we had descended into the flats. Eventually, I pulled over and parked on a side street below Sunset Boulevard. The lady collector drove up behind me. Who knows when or if she would come up to see me again? Who knows how long the bomb squad would be up there?
After I said goodbye to the patron and a possible acquisition, she drove off toward her mansion in Malibu.
Larry, Beau, and I walked along Sunset for some time. Then, as I drove back up the hill that starry night, I thought of the sign that Einstein had in his office at Princeton. It read: Not everything that counts can be counted, and not everything that can be counted counts. The bomb threat had been a hoax.