As if fascinated by a bright bauble, Andrew pointed to a silver bracelet sitting on the back counter and asked to see it. As I handed it over, I explained the late Herbert Taylor, brother of Robert Taylor, had created the cuff. Robert had sold us the piece a few years after Herbert passed-away. It was an all silver cuff with stylized guardian bears marching across its surface. Each animal had inlaid turquoise eyes and heart lines indicating its life force. As if under a spell, Andrew queried, "How much is this?" When I quoted him the price, he replied, "I'll take it, my friend Joe will love this." "Well, I don't know", I said hesitantly, "I usually have to work harder for a sell than that." Priscilla gave me her, "Are you insane" look, but Andrew just laughed and said, "I am impressed, I want it." "All right then", I told him, "but next time make me work a little harder will you?" "Agreed", said Andrew.
As he continued to browse, Andrew explained his, "Faith Portal". This he had established, "To promote a broadened world view that reinforces our identity as one human race, transcending the stories that often divide us." "Hey, wait a minute", he said, changing direction in mid-stream once more, "I have stuff. Do you trade?" "Only if the stuff is stuff I want", I cautioned. "Fair enough", said Andrew as he quickly exited the building on his way to retrieve the goods. As he left, I noticed his green chapeau setting on the counter next to the Herbert Taylor bracelet. Andrew soon returned with a small antique suitcase packed with trade goods in one hand, a new ball cap on his shaved head and a mongrel pup at his heels. It was about this time Steve emerged from his office to witness the show. Danny also came downstairs to block the dog from going upstairs to investigate his lunch.
|Momma's rose quartz Crystal and our silver coins.|
As Andrew unbuckled its clasps and threw open the leather valise, I instantly knew this would be a complicated affair. The ancient bag was packed with baubles, beads and jewelry from across the world. As I set to the task of exploring its contents, Andrew advised me, "There are only two pieces in there I will not trade." "I'll bet I can find them", I said, and did. Soon a turquoise, spiny oyster shell and sterling silver bracelet and a hand fabricated container of silver and copper crafted in Tibet came to light. "I cannot trade those," said Andrew. "I figured", said I, and continued, "but there is nothing else that interests me." "No problem", was Andrew's prompt reply. "Here is a silver, half-ounce round for your trouble." He handed the coin to me, and also gave one to Priscilla, Steve, Danny and three members of a family who just happened to be in the store at the time. As we all stood there admiring the doubloons, Momma Rose arrived for a visit. I introduced her to Andrew and he responded like he had just met Mother Theresa. From around his neck Andrew took a silver mounted rose quartz crystal and presented it to "Mom".
As the dog ran wild Andrew proceeded to describe his mission. It was, he explained, "To connect people from different backgrounds through more open narratives that assist our progression toward a sustainable and equitable civilization." As he spoke, Andrew shopped our cases of silver and turquoise jewelry. Before we knew it, he had discovered several more items he wanted, all as presents for close friends. In the middle of all this action Andrew stopped once again, and, without much more than a mention of hunger pangs, placed the ball cap on the counter next to the green fedora, took the dog outside and left to order a hamburger at Twin Rocks Cafe. As he went out the door, Steve said, "That guy is tumultuous . . . but fun." Gazing at her crystal, Momma Rose agreed, while everyone else fingered their newly received coins.
Before long Andrew returned with his hamburger in a box and a new baseball cap on his head. Lining-up the three hats on the counter, Andrew asked, "Which crown best suits my character?" "The green fedora," I assured him. "Good", replied Andrew, "it belonged to my grandfather." Before Andrew was finished, he gathered together a selection of items for his many friends, tempted us with gold coins and bullion and changed his mind, deciding to pay with plastic. During his siege of Twin Rocks, Andrew misplaced his hamburger, scattered hats and trade stuff over the counters and made us immensely happy with his all encompassing and positive attitude. As she so often does for Steve and me, Priscilla organized Andrew and got him moving in the right direction. In the end Andrew's visit was chaotic but well intentioned, frantic and, in an unexpected way, focused. Andrew's message was, in a nutshell, love one another and respectfully listen to their faith and feelings. Amen Andrew, Amen.
With warm regards Barry Simpson and the team;
Steve, Priscilla and Danny.