Whispers In Spring: Chapter Seventeen

The gallery space was as Matt had envisioned it. Pedestals were raised in the center to hold the statuary and sculptures, while wall space was marked according to the artwork with plaques naming each piece. The space above each plaque had enough area above to hold the painting and at least three sketches.

He looked at Chris. “This is perfect. I can’t see anything that needs changing.”

Chris smiled. “The only thing we haven’t installed yet are the plaque stands that will hold the sketches of the statues and sculptures. Your late wife sketched everything she did. There is a problem, though.”

Matt turned to him. “What’s that?”

He looked at Matt. “There were some sketches that didn’t go with anything. For those, we set up a sketches only area. It was as if she had plans to paint more pictures.”

Matt nodded. “Some of her sketches ended up as cover art for her first boyfriend’s albums. The only thing unforgettable about his work was the artwork she did for him. His music sucked.”

Chris nodded. “Ah. That explains it.”

Matt smiled. “I can talk to his sister and see if the prints Juanita made still exist. They were never paintings, just prints. If so, you can put them with the sketches.”

Chris nodded. “That would be good. It would make the collection complete.” He turned away. “We also have the traveling exhibit put together.”

Matt looked toward the far wall. “I would like to see it.”

Chris motioned for him to follow. “Follow me.”

Matt followed the professor out to a semi trailer. They went up the ramp and inside. a temporary lighting system had been set up and Matt gazed upon portable walls that were braced and kept in place so that they would not fall or move without being unlocked from their positions. The arrangement was beautiful. Toward the left side of the trailer was a space where crated sculptures and statuary could be set and locked into place.

He looked at the professor. “This is amazing. You really should patent this set up. I have never seen anything like it.”

Chris smiled. “I had thought about it, but–”

he looked over to the professor. “But you can’t afford to?”

Chris nodded. “Yes.”

Matt smiled. “I can help if you want. You could make a mint on just this. Imagine how many museums and galleries would buy a trailer like this.”

Chris chuckled. “True.”

***

Amanda and the ladies were finally joined by Darlene and her assistant. Darlene looked at the group. “Are we ready for dress fittings?”

Amanda looked around the room at the rest. they all nodded. She looked back at Darlene. “I guess they are.” She motioned for the newest of the group to come forward, then put her arm around two of them. “And we need to add a few dresses as well. Will that be a problem?”

Darlene smiled. “Of course not. Seems your family grows on a daily basis.”

Amanda nodded. “What else is on the agenda for today?”

Darlene looked at her palm pilot. “Looks like we might want to lock in locations for the ceremony and the reception. Are you ready for that? Or do you want to wait?”

Amanda looked down. “We’ll want to get as much done as we can. No need to wait.”

Darlene nodded. “Alright., let’s get busy, ladies,” she looked at Sam, “and gentleman.”

***

Matt stepped into his office at the entertainment company for the first time in years. Memories came flooding in. Happy memories. So many happy years had been spent there.

It had been there that he’d first met Juanita. It had been from there that he’d banished Tim-o. Hell. hundreds of thousands of amazing albums had been born in that office. And some of the most amazing tours, as well.

Films had been given the go ahead from there. Television shows as well. And even radio productions and expansions into every part of media. He smiled. It felt good to be back.

Devin looked in. “Hey, boss man. Welcome home. gonna be with us long?”

Matt smiled. “I hope to be. At least until I can’t do it anymore.”

Devin smiled. “Atta boy! Can’t wait to be workin’ with ya again! got a lot of projects in the hopper.!

Matt nodded. “Good. I’ll want to hear all about them when I come in tomorrow.”

Devin chuckled. “We’re glad you’re comin’ back.”

Matt grinned. “Glad to be back. Like a breath of fresh air.”

Devin winked. “She must be one special lady to have brought you back to life, Man. I’m happy for you.”

Matt looked away. “She is, Man. She is. Never knew what I was missing until she waltzed into my life.”

Devin began walking away. “I’ll bet not. We thought we’d lost you for good this time.”

Matt bowed his head. They almost had. He knew that. Had Egypt not found Amanda for him, they would have.

He looked back up. “Yeah, me too. But thanks to my daughter, I am back.”

Devin was already gone, so Matt decided the conversation was done. He sat down at his old desk and logged into his computer. God, he’d missed this place! The people. The activity.

He belonged here. He hoped, one day, to pass this all on to one of his children. Maybe more than one. After all, that had been why he had begun building this business.

He’d wanted to leave a legacy. Something they could all be proud of. Perhaps they were. Even if he had been a little free with himself in the early years.

But what musician wasn’t? There were legends about some of his contemporaries. Many claimed to have been with thousands of women. Even the so-called Christian musicians, especially those who’d crossed into the contemporary music world, found themselves falling to the temptation of flesh.

It was a part of touring. Sex, drugs, and rock-n-roll. If you didn’t do drugs, you drank and had sex. If you didn’t drink or do drugs, you still had sex. Very few popular musicians could withstand the lure of the ladies. It was a rite of passage.

Of course, many started in the business simply for the women. Women, money, power and fame. It was never simply for the music. Not like when Matt had started.

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