I read a recent Vanity Fair article about the heirs of Pablo Picasso fighting over the 45,000 pieces of art still left unsold more than 40 years after the artist’s death.
We’re not exactly talking chicken feed. The most recent sale of a Picasso, last year, brought $179.4 million – and my calculator is too timid to figure the billions at stake.
The article got me to thinking about a story I heard or read years ago about Picasso.
It seems five U.S. servicemen were in a ritzy Paris restaurant, celebrating something.
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They were having a great time, but when the check came, they realized they had ordered a couple more bottles of wine than they could afford.
They pleaded with the waitress, then the manager, and said they would mail the remainder of the bill, but to no avail.
When the manager threatened to call the local gendarme, a man who had been sitting nearby approached.
He handed the manager a napkin and said something like, “This should take care of the bill.”
On the napkin was a sketch. It was signed “Picasso.”
Yes, it took care of the bill.
I mentioned this story to my grandson, Jacob, while we were eating at an expensive restaurant at the Grand Mayan Resort in Mexico.
He had been studying Picasso in school. In fact, he was wearing a T-shirt on which he had printed “Picasso.”
Later, when the check came, Jacob grabbed it and was surprised to see it was more than $100.
His eyes widened and he looked at me.
“Oh, oh,” he said. “We need Picasso.”
As a mere scribbler of words, I seldom gloat. This time I must.
I wrote a couple weeks ago about my March Madness brackets and compared them to those offered by the experts at Sports Illustrated and President Obama.
I won easily, with three teams in the Final Four; they both had only two.
Plus, I had Villanova and North Carolina in the final.
My Tar Heels lost, but that’s OK because I’ve got bragging rights until next March.
Sorry, SI. Sorry, Barack.
Contact Bob Bestler at firstname.lastname@example.org.