So that was that. The end of a very important era in my life: my days as a Getty Girl. Yesterday was my last day at the Getty, and it was hectic and crazy, but it culminated in a delightful farewell party on the Ranch House porch, and a viewing of "Elektra" in the outdoor theater under the Malibu stars. I couldn't ask for more! Strangely enough, I didn't even feel the urge to cry until I was literally driving out the front archway at the very end of the night. I did cry a little, but not as much I thought I would. That's probably why I feel sick today. The emotional impact hasn't quite hit me yet. I'm hoping for a nice cathartic cry session later this week :)
I met this little grasshopper on one of my last private strolls around the Villa. I took advantage of our closed days to walk around and soak in the quiet beauty of the site one last time. I'm sure I'll visit the Villa many times in the coming years, but I don't know that I'll ever have the chance to experience the galleries and gardens alone, the way only staff can do without the "public" getting in the way. I think this little grasshopper is a talisman of some kind. Go forth, little grasshopper, and experience the world outside the Villa. Go from a Getty Girl to a LACMA Lady. The term "Lady" sounds a little old-fashioned (and just plain "old"), but the implication of growing up is relevant.
There are so many things I'll miss about the Getty, and of course the Villa in particular: the beautiful setting; the dolphins jumping along the PCH; the stunning galleries and amazing collections and exhibitions; the scrumptious publications; the impromptu prosecco and pie parties at the Ranch House; lengthy conversations with friends on my therapist's stool or in the Herb Garden; the intimate evening exhibition openings; the entertaining lunch-table banter; and the many wonderful, eccentric, hard-working, quirky, psychotic, fantastic people that I had the pleasure and/or pain of working with. All good experiences (or at least learning experiences). There is no place else like the Getty Villa, and I am so grateful that I got to be part of that core team that re-opened the Villa to the public in 2006. I feel like I really made a contribution and left my mark. And I gathered so many wonderful memories and friends along the way, which I'll never lose no matter where I go next.
My final party was my own, and it was just what I wanted. A bunch of wonderful people gathered on the porch, eating and drinking, and expressing friendship, gratitude, sadness, pride, and the whole gamut of emotions. Karol and Quincy both said wonderful things about me, which I appreciated, and I was presented with some fabulously unique gifts that I will cherish, and which will forever remind me of my time, and my friends, at the Villa. I received two gorgeous prints taken by our own talented photographers, Ellen & Tahnee, and beautifully framed and matted by the amazing Peter, who selflessly goes to any length to make sure that people he cares about are properly feted; sock monkey earrings and a book of sock monkey portraits that I've been wanting for years; a lovely pair of antique earrings from our head curator; an intriguing book about the lives of Peregrine Falcons from darling Dave; and this glorious, zebra-striped, stiletto-heeled shoe chair which I've been coveting for months! The perfect end to a perfect experience.
Thank you, one and all.
And now for a week of decompression, reflection, and preparation for the next adventure.