Tee, Shirley and I head to lunch at Luizas by City Park. An interesting thing happened at lunch as they were showing a replay of the Saints game which was going pretty much unnoticed until it was time for the Porter interception touchdown. As the play starts, people get up from their tables and the bar to get a better look even though most of us have seen it 20 times at least. As he intercepts, a huge roar goes up and as he runs for the touchdown, screaming and yelling like we are all watching it for the first time. Miracles do happen – even on replays 2 days later!
We are excited about meeting Bill Fagaly, who knew Rockmore and will be showing us his works that are housed at NOMA. Many of the Rockmore works are housed at a storage facility offsite but Bill tells us they will soon have a state of the art facility to house all the stored works under one roof. Bill is of great interest to us because he published a book and had a Museum Show for Sister Gertrude Morgan who was a famous folk artist and a friend of Noel Rockmore. Bill has obviously been around the block in this specific area and we hope he might share insight to guide us around the block which he does.
NOMA had a well received Rockmore retrospective in 1998 put together by Gail Feigenbaum, now at the Getty Museum, which included a book called Fantasies and Realities. For the last 4 years since Katrina, my mom, Shirley Marvin has pushed hard for another retrospective on Noel Rockmore which NOMA has politely declined. I asked my mom before our meeting, “ please do not push hard for another retrospective at this meeting, we really just want to see the Rockmores and pick Bill’s brain.”” I will be as quiet as a mouse,” she informs me.
It is time to go and my mom draws herself up to her full height after sitting quietly as a mouse and says, “Bill, I have one question for you, when are you going to have the next Noel Rockmore retrospective?”
“Shirley, we had one!”
“That was 12 years ago Bill, it’s time for another!”
“Shirley, there are a lot of artist on deck who we are going to have shows for.”
“Bill, can you honsetly say that any of these artist are as talented as Noel Rockmore.”
“Well,……. No, I didn't say that Shirley.”
“Then it is time for Noel Rockmore to have a show, I mean it Bill.” The mouse that roared.
Then Silence – Tee and Shirley go to the ladies room before we leave.
I apologize to Bill and explained that mom and I had discussed not doing that. He smiles and says, “no apology, it would not be your mother if she did not do that, it’s the great part about her, she believes in Rockmore and advocates for him.”
You learn something new every day – especially not to apologize for your mom if she did not ask you to. I realized this day that my mom has always believed in me and Tee as well. Sometimes you learn really valuable life lessons on the Rockmore Trail. When was the last time we told our 5 kids how much we believe in them and their significant others.