Tuesday, May 09, 2006

What's in a name?

I got a phone call. My uncle, Richard Davidson, called and asked if I would like to go to a black-tie affair - the reopening of the Baker Theater in Dover. Apparently, the theater is rather old, and had just undergone a major restoration, including a new organ built by my uncle. Well, it sounded like something to do, so I told him that we'd go. Great.

The day of the event, I got another phone call. It seems that my uncle was running late, so he told me that our tickets were at the box office.

"Just tell them you're my nephew" were his instructions.

So I put on my best bib and tucker, left Sara with her Grandmother and Laura and I drove the 30 minutes to the theater. We arrived without incident, upon notifying the woman at the box-office counter that I was Richard Davidson's nephew, she told me that there was a table up front with his name on it. We should sit there.

We went in, the theater is old, but smells of fresh paint. There was a bar at the back with a cheese table in front of it. Up near the stage were some round tables, sized to seat six or so. We found the one with my uncle's name on it and sat down.

Uncle Dick had told us this would be a dinner, so we were starving, however the only sustenance available appeared to be the cheese. Fair enough, I told Laura to stay put while I went and got some food and drink.

When I returned, there were more people sitting at the table. Laura said

"These people work in your uncles paint store"

Well, I thought I knew my uncle pretty well, but I certainly didn't know he had a paint store! Upon further questioning, it became obvious that there was another Richard Davidson. The question was, which Richard Davidson belonged at that table?

Just then, my uncle arrived, and proceeded to prove his identity to the tables occupants by producing his drivers license. After all were satisfied that he was actually Richard Davidson, the question of who belonged at the table still was looming over our heads. On the one hand, my uncle, Richard Davidson, built and installed the organ for the theater. The "other" Richard Davidson, owned a paint store. Call me biased, but I'd say organ trumps paint any day.

Just then, the Richard Davidson of paint store fame arrived. Introductions were made, and he decided that Organ Builder does indeed trump Paint Store owner, and retreated with his employees towards the back of the theater.

Ten minutes later, the curtain rose and spotlights illuminated the stage. There were easels lined up, each holding plaques, with writing way too small for me to read. The proprietor of the theater walked on stage and introduced himself.

He started to thank people who helped him on his 18-year task of renovating the theater. The banker that helped him finance it, his wife and family, contractors that worked with him... No mention of the "magnificent organ" that my uncle built. Finally, he arrived at the last plaque on the stage, and said:

"18 years ago, I bought this theater. I knew that I wanted to restore it to it's former glory, and it's been a long long journey. Throughout those 18 years, I was helped by many, but only one person could I count on for all of those years, only one person who had the same vision, the same drive. Ladies and Gentlemen, look around you. See these walls, that wonderful ceiling, the spectacular trim work and know that every surface, every inch of this wonderful theater is coated in pant that came from RICHARD DAVIDSON'S PAINT STORE!!!!! Where is he???" And with that, he looked directly at our table, but alas, the Richard Davidson he was looking for was not there. Way in the back of the theater, fighting his way up through the crowd was the Real Richard Davidson, the one who should have been sitting where we were.

Sort of like the game of "Rock, Paper, Scissors" where Paper covers rock, I guess that Paint does cover Organ after all...


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Poor Uncle Dick!