#50 Guillermo, the Museum Guard
Menil Collection in Houston
I must have learned as a child to fear museum guards. They always seemed so suspicious. They tapped shoulders and glared and reprimanded when you even thought about standing too close to a piece of art.
However my opinion of museum guards changed last year when I had a relaxed visit to the lovely Menil Museum.
An Exhibit of Nigerian Statues
I was impressed by the expressions and poses I saw in a collection of Nigerian statues. I found myself making the same expressions as I studied the poses, through the glass. Who were the people, who inspired these statues? I realized a guard was watching and cringed that I could have looked like I was making fun. But he chuckled and we ended up chatting. It turns out he was in fact from Nigeria and we ended up having a wonderful food conversation, because I had recently visited a Nigerian restaurant.
My Favorite Guard
But my favorite guard at the Menil was working in a separate building. There were no other visitors in the quiet space, but my friend and I could hear the somewhat shy guard talking softly.
He was talking to his friend just outside the door...a squirrel!
Guillermo said he fed the squirrel every day. He dropped a peanut outside the door and watched the little guy race over to fetch his treat before a greedy bird could steal it!
You reminded me that museum guards can be kind human beings! I think that little squirrel thanks you, too!
To celebrate my birthday in April 2012, I decided to reflect on the past with a different kind of list. I've met a lot of people in my 55 years, but I'm going to stop and remind myself about the strangers I've met. These are people I met by accident, not through friends or work. For some reason, these strangers dropped into my life. Even though we may have only spent a few minutes together, these people have never been forgotten.
Each week, I'll spotlight someone I met in the past, who in some small way, made me stop and think.
Remember 55 Strangers