|Danielle, Hope and Andre|
The elevator inspector came again. Five years we don't see them, now we can’t keep them away. When we called 911 after the water break in 2010, the fire department shut it down. But that’s not good enough for the inspector. It's either got to be fixed, removed or decommissioned to stop the visits. And fines. Fixing estimates are $50000, more or less.
I look up from my desk. Do you remember me?, the man asks. And yes, I do. It's Joseph LLiso. El maestro, we called him. Conductor of the Pan American Orchestra. It was his life’s mission to prove that Latinos could do any kind of classical music. And he did just that for several concerts. Back before we left. Back when Regi was still here with our ministry of Worship, Arts and Music. He took such joy in his concerts. I remember him, almost reclining as he finished with an encore of Stars and Stripes Forever, his baton waving. A real showman. A real throwback.I haven’t seen him for 6 or more years. He asks about Regi. He wants to do one more concert. One last concert. A farewell concert. The years have been hard. People don't give to the arts anymore, he says. At least not what I do. Next May. I can raise enough money by then…
I’m happy to at least get him on the schedule.
Geoffrey is on the steps. Good morning, Pastor, he says in his British colonial accent voice. May be the longest sentence I’ve ever heard him say.
Andre comes in with Tsion, his aide, to let me know he’s OK. We talk about the upcoming event on the 50th anniversary of Freedom Summer. I need him to be there. While we’re talking, Hope arrives to sign some checks. To talk about my friends the Scotlands as they live a vigil waiting daily for their daughter Lizzy’s recovery. She knows the rehab hospital well. Traumatic brain injuries take time. At least three months to know, Andrea tells me. Her personality is back, John says. That means everything. And Hope tells us more of the joys of being a grandmother.
Karen is playing in the sanctuary. Andre’s ears perk up. Asks me what she does, when not on the piano. Sells cleaning products, I say. That’s what I love about this place, you guys….says Andre, All these Karens on the Beckstein.
We get an alarming phone call from the Veterans Adminstration. They received what they termed a concerning email from the woman Keith was living with. They were concerned about her safety. Have we seen her? Him? I tell Danielle the story from last Friday and she tells the VA.
Brief conversation with Martin trying to keep him in the loop. His braintrust, Marina and Mitchell, hard at work in the Chapel.
Later, I’m coming back from Elise’s PHD celebration and lost the bishop election postmortem. Ran into Andrea, Johanna and Katherine. Talking about Nate and his friends' visit.The Scotlands. The Seattle shooting. And then behind them, I see Keith.
I ask him if he’s seen the woman he was so concerned about last Friday. Haven’t seen her in a week, he says. and I think she locked me out.
Last Friday, you were heart broken, I said, You said it had been a day…
Did I? I don’t know…
Keith, the VA wants to talk to you, I say.
Why? He asks.
You’ll have to ask them, I say.