The Moses bus caught the lecturer's eye.
VMFA's Curator of African Art, Richard Woodward,was speaking at Studio 23, that bastion of indie printmaking on Main Street about their new exhibit, "Land of a Thousand Greeting: Multimedia from Rwanda."
I've been in the studio many times, but tonight it was especially welcoming with the garage door rolled up to the warm, barely sprinkling weather.
Inside, a small crowd gathered slowly, leaving time to check out the show before the talk.
There were photographs, drawings and fabrics inspired by the artists' trip to Rwanda, including one of a brightly covered bus labeled Moses.
That was the one that caught Woodward's eye; he ended up buying it before the night was over.
His talk looked for a link between the VMFA's African collection (the most recent piece of which was acquired in 1960 or 1970, he said) to the Anderson Gallery's recent "Environment Object" show of contemporary African art.
He explained why Congolese chiefs were kept in check, how brutal many of the colonizing forces were and how divination worked.
He assured us that now if we go to the African galleries (not that I haven't already been) we'll know everything that's written on the wall cards.
And for the first half of his lecture, he had a soundtrack of cars driving down a very wet Main Street outside.
For the second half, the front door was rolled down but the wind and rain made it sound like bullets on the roof.
The Q & A period was brief and I didn't ask my question because I didn't want to put such an interesting speaker on the spot.
But why doesn't the VMFA have a piece of African (not African-American) art more recent than 40 years old?
I'm already on record as saying I think the Sokari Douglas Camp sculpture at the Anderson belongs in the VMFA's collection.
But since no one was asking my thoughts on museum purchases, I left for, where else these days, Pasture to meet a friend.
He had not been to the new restaurant on Grace Street yet, so I ended up there again so he could check it out, having contributed to its opening.
We went all caveman, ordering nothing but meat to go with a bottle of Mont Gras Carmenere.
It was my first crack at the ham plate (Kites, Olli, Edwards) with beer mustard and pickles; I'll go with the speck as my favorite.
Then we had the beef tartare, which I'd had but he hadn't (as in not ever in his life).
He became a tartare convert, especially with the chili ketchup.
We finished with the pork rillettes. "Do you like rillettes?" the chef asked. "I love potted meat," I answered.
Is there any difference?
Arriving in a little Mason jar, the layer of fact on top was a delightful surprise to my friend, the rillettes virgin.
He made me laugh with a personal horror story (being in the Mall of America on Black Friday) and then told me about the restaurant project he's currently brainstorming.
Even better, he was honest enough to say that men are simple creatures and recommended a great hand lotion.
This could be the start of a beautiful friendship.