Written by Stanley Greenberg Thursday, 23 May 2013 00:00
My 7-year-old grandson, Lewis, has become a fan of George Washington. He has guided my wife and me on a tour of the Metropolitan Museum of Art to see pictures of his idol. He lives two blocks from the Met and he is a frequent visitor to the museum. Lewis knows his way around the museum like a guide, while I get lost there in about ten minutes.
We decided, on a Sunday morning, to take Lewis to The Frick Museum, to see the artwork there. We stood on a line about a block and a half long to make our entrance. Lewis, his father Gregg, Lorraine and I waited our turn to enter patiently. When we got to the head of the line, a uniformed guard pointed to Lewis and asked abruptly, “How old is that boy?”
My son, Gregg, said honestly, “He is seven years old.” The guard said quickly, “He has to be ten years old to enter the museum!” “He just turned ten,” I answered. “No good,” said the guard. “Your first age is the one I have to use.” This meant no entrance for all of us.
As we left, Lewis teared up and said, “I’m a good boy. I wouldn’t break anything in the museum.” It was hard explaining to Lewis, that the attendant was just doing his duty and it was nothing personal.
We all hopped into a taxi and headed for the Neue Museum on 86th Street and 5th Avenue. As we entered the museum, a guard asked, “How old is that little boy?” “Ten years old” I exclaimed. “No good,” said the lady at the admission desk, “he has to be 12 years old.”
Defeated again, we withdrew from the museum.
Gregg said we could take the subway downtown to Fraunces Tavern, where George Washington said farewell to his Revolutionary Troops, eat and see some George Washington memorabilia. In the financial district, we stopped to see the magnificent statue of George Washington. Lewis enjoyed taking pictures. In the restaurant, George Washington was everywhere and Lewis was happy. He even signed the register and we went upstairs to tour the small museum.
Lewis’ tears had long disappeared and he was thrilled by his trip to see the statue of George Washington and Fraunces Tavern. “Never give up” is my wife’s favorite saying. This time, it worked out fabulously.