Monte Sen stood in front of the painting, leaning hard
with both hands on his cane. His grandson looked up into his face
" What are you thinking about Gran pa ?"
Monte Sen looked down over his half glasses, "Just
remembering a risk I took as a young man; on unclaimed freight."
He could tell by the youngsters eager expression
that he wanted to hear more.
" Once long ago- 1917 or so," I was working the docks
He pointed a finger over the boys shoulder, " Four wooden crates
sat for days- and we had to work around them." He shook his head.
"After a certain time I went and made an offer on them; Mr. Franks
gave the OK."
" What was in them ?" His grandson burst out.
Monte Sen smiled. "After carting them two streets over,
into the alley behind the apartment your Grand mother and I
lived in at the time- it was getting dark."
His Grandson eyes were wide.
" Your Grand mother was not pleased with me for spending
money we didn't have. -Speculating - I think she called it."
"What's that mean ?"
" Gambling- a sin to some."
His grandson's jaw dropped.
" She made me sleep outside and guard them."
The boy covered his mouth to keep from laughing.
" The next day I finally opened them-. A painting, similar to this
one, was carefully wrapped and set on top of the smallest box."
" Where is it Gran pa ?"
" It hung in our shop for many years, behind the register.
Then one day a lady came in with the same last name as the artist.
I did not feel right refusing her- It probably was her Father's crate.
The boy's eyebrows couldn't have gone any higher." Was he
"No," Monty Sen. smiled. " It was from their homeland, a
comforting piece of family memorabilia."