After we left the Getty, we continued up the 405 to Northridge and Anne’s Uncle Lou. Lou is Harry’s older brother and coincidently they share the same birthday, just six years apart. Currently he is 96, but now prefers to countdown from a hundred, rather than up the very long road that he has traveled. We were saddened to learn that Pearl, Lou’s second wife, had passed since last we visited him, a couple of years ago. Lou has moved to the memory care section of the nursing home that we visited him at before. Even so, he remembered us on sight and welcomed us graciously. Anne had loaded our laptop with family photos, which we all reviewed together. Lou seemed in fine health making his century goal appear quite realistic. He was still full of war stories from his service in Patton’s 3rd Army, but he didn’t tell this time, the one where he kissed a Russian soldier, a woman, when the two armies met at the end of WW II. I always felt that he had told that story to tease Pearl a little.
All too soon, we had to say goodbye to Lou, because we had a plane to catch, but first we had to navigate the 405, this time during rush-hour. Whenever I drive the 405, I am reminded of the Bruce Branit and Jeremy Hunt Y2K era short by the same name and I always remind myself that it could be worse. This time it wasn’t too bad. Even so, it took us an hour to go less than 30 miles. There was supposedly an accident that was slowing things, but interestingly its symbol on Anne’s phone kept pacing just ahead of us, all the way to LAX.
We dropped-off the rent-a-car, shuttled to the terminal and breezed through TSA only to learn that our flight was delayed. What was scheduled to be a late-night flight turned into a real redeye. We crept home at 4 AM, but we had made it. It had stopped raining, but there were no stars out. We were back in the Lou.
We went to the J. Paul Getty Museum in LA. This beautiful art institution is located on the north side of LA, atop a hill and alongside the 405. The center is celebrating its twentieth anniversary this year. I’ve always liked this place’s facility better than its collection. A sentiment that I am not alone with. J. Paul’s art tastes ran a little too baroque for my liking, while his museum, which houses this collection is a gleaming white city that sits upon a hill. Modeled after an Italian village, the various wings enclose a central courtyard that encloses this modernists village’s central plaza. Its exterior façade of limestone and marble glisten in the Southern California sun. The one other time that we visited this museum, its gardens were closed for renovation. That is where we went first. We did tour a number of the galleries, including a new Egyptian exhibit from its classical period, featuring artifacts from the times of Alexander and Ptolemy. The exhibit had opened that day, so everything there was a little bit crazy. If we had more time, we would have stayed longer. There was so much more to see. It is such a beautiful and peaceful oasis.