A Moment in History
by Charlie Lesko
At his death, J. Paul Gettys, the richest American of his generation,
funded a number of institutions for the benefit of the public,
including the world famous Gettys Art Museum. Not as well known is his
vast, and eclectic, Bird Sanctuary established for the protection of
endangered birds, other wildlife, rare plants and threatened minorities.
The Bird Sanctuary director was required to annually report, to the
board of directors, all the accomplishments of the Sanctuary. The past
year was an especially busy one, and the director was careful to list
every event of consequence.
For example, a caustic substance had spilled and ruined the flooring
of the research lab located on the 7th floor of the Bird Sanctuary
tower. The most efficient, and least expensive, repair was to strip
the floor to the concrete base, apply an overlay of new concrete and
etch in an attractive design.
Other major activities included a report on the proliferation of an
endangered species of wildlife brought from Africa in the early 1990s
by a group of animal activist Franciscan monks headquartered in the
Sanctuary. Also important was the creation of a new order of tea bush
named, Libra, for the astrological period in which it was developed,
and the decision to hire a professional chair person to head up an
association formed to protect the rights and habitat of native pigmy
During the year, the Sanctuary was forced to file a lawsuit against an
aggressive competitor in an attempt to protect the patent on its
organic frozen confectionery produced from its unique and rare grapes.
The director would also have to issue a dire warning on global warming
as result of the tests conducted by the Sanctuary's internationally
respected weather scientists.
Here is an extract of a portion of his notes covering the events of
1. Floor scored on 7
2. Years ago, our Fathers brought forth, on this continent, a gnu nation
3. Conceived a Libra tea
4. Dedicated a pro position for Small Men Are Created Equal (SMACE)
5. We are engaged in a grapesicle war
6. Testing weather - can this nation, or any other nation, long endure?
The list went on, but the activities will never be as remembered as
much as the director, Abe Blinken's short, but moving, annual status
report. It will be known, and loved, forever, as the Gettys Bird