Post 85: The Rooming House Gallery – Connecting the Dots

Excerpts from The Rooming Gallery – Connecting the Dot

The following week, they met with the lawyer Mona and Enrique directed them to…..“There are two ways you could do this,” he said. “One is to form a nonprofit and lease building space from someone, like yourselves. The second way would include the building as part of the nonprofit. In other words, the nonprofit would own the property, not you. Actually, this makes the most sense because you own the building and planned to make it into a gallery anyway.” He paused and studied the men for a moment. Smiling, he added, “I’m sure the nonprofit could designate living quarters for the directors. That way, you wouldn’t be paying property taxes and rent, plus you get a tax donation for gifting the building.”

Holy crap, thought Josh. Now, I know what’s been bothering me—what it was I couldn’t articulate. He kept glancing at Andres, trying to catch his eye, warn him this was a big step and maybe they should go back to their original dreams of a home and art gallery for Andres and his friends, or at least focus on leasing out the upper two floors to the nonprofit. Andres was so intent on discussing the paperwork and ideas for forming the board of directors, the time frame and the community that he barely looked at Josh. Over coffee with the lawyer, Andres said, “I am so excited to get started. We even have a top architect with sponsorship to work with us! Just think what this will mean for the community. I’m beginning to see the need and love the idea to be involved with something bigger than we originally thought. I think the nonprofit should own the house. It makes the most sense. Start drawing up the papers.” Josh was too stunned to interject his idea to focus on leasing the upper floors…..

…..At home, Josh boiled eggs and started putting a Greek salad together. He warmed some pita bread in the oven as Andres kept chattering about being a part of the community and his new vision for the place. Finally, he asked, “You’ve been quiet. In fact, you haven’t said a word since the lawyer’s office. What’s wrong?”

“What’s wrong? You ask what’s wrong?” Josh felt his face flushing, but couldn’t stop his rant. “You’re running around, babbling about turning this place into a community art center, about turning our home—our home, Andres—into a place that will no longer be our home! Our home! A home we wondered if we could ever have. A home where our roots go back forever. And you wonder what’s wrong?” Josh yanked a beer from the fridge, popped the cap onto the floor and took a long drag. He banged it down onto the table, then picked it up and took another slug.

Andres stared at him in shock. He opened the fridge, grabbed a beer, flipped the cap onto the floor and watched it roll around till it landed close to Josh’s feet. Josh footed it toward the waste basket. Andres took a long drink, wiped his mouth and sat down at the table. “But—but I thought you liked the idea of making this place into a community art center. I—I thought—”

“You thought what? Had you truly stopped to think that we could be turning over our home to a nonprofit board of directors who determine the future for this place? A board of directors who could determine our future? A board of nitwit artist friends of yours? Have you—”

“My artist friends are not nitwits! How the hell dare you say that?” Andres jumped up.

So, what do they decide?…