What a joy and honor it is to walk into that great palace of the fine arts and give a well-deserved salutation to the great eagle that welcomes us as he seemingly attempts to fly away. How moving it was to turn and realize that adorning Gladys paintings there were proud wooden shields with the inscription “Texas Master” serving as delicate, yet silent witnesses to her exquisite, consummate mastery of the fine art of painting.
One of these splendid paintings was The Good Book, in which Annie, beautiful as always, delicate, and unequaled in her elegance and class, is lovingly reading a book. My daughter’s innocent countenance, superb dress that I wish I could adequately describe, and the accompanying white roses whose incomparable aroma I could almost sense when I let myself be lost in the splendor of this marvelous portrait made this painting one of our favorites of all time. I am unable to accurately articulate the deep pain we felt as we prepared for its delivery to the gallery, knowing full well that we would probably never see it again! And no words will ever suffice to describe the terribly complex emotions we felt as we saw the red dot that adorned The Good Book, which unequivocally and irrevocably proclaimed that the painting had indeed found a new home.
I made several attempts to convince Gladys that we should celebrate her success, knowing full well that “other Roldan de Moras paintings would come soon.” I knew I was not very convincing; the tone of my voice probably betrayed my sadness and conflicting emotions.
Insight Galley is in Fredericksburg, some sixty miles from home, in the picturesque Hill Country. Our trip to this dear German town was made shorter as we enjoyed Charles Walker’s company. Charles is always happy to come along with us on our adventurous trips.
As Gladys quickly became a sought-after artist that evening, Charles and I went around the gallery, enjoying its incredible collection of fine works. Insight is truly an amazing destination. Eventually, we found ourselves coming back to The Good Book. I could not help telling Charles about our sadness in letting that particular painting go. I let him know I was somewhat curious about the identify of the fortunate buyer. To my astonishment, my dear friend exclaimed: “It was I who bought The Good Book. Gladys told me a few weeks what the painting meant to your family. I would like for Annie to have it one day.” Words were as inadequate as they were insufficient as I tried to thank Charles.
Charles then called Meredith, Insight’s gracious owner, who was in on Charles’s secret, as I then realized! Meredith beckoned Gladys and said, “I want you to meet the collector who acquired The Good Book,” as she pointed to Charles. Gladys could not believe it and was unable to say anything. After her initial silence, she thanked Charles profusely: “I am so happy it was you, Charles! Now we know who has the painting and we will always be able to see it when we visit you.” Charles was very quick to reply: “I no longer have any room at home for this painting. It is yours to take home. I want Annie to have it!” Gladys, Annie, and I experienced emotions so deep that we were rendered speechless, as grateful tears rolled down own eyes.
Friendship and goodness are alive and well. Thank you, Charles!!!
March 2, 2013