Moshe Katz was in New York visiting his Tante and Feter, and they made the San Francisco Private Detective play tourist, including a visit to the Met’s Diamond Jubilee. Then things got ridiculous. He’d heard of Marian Anderson, but who the hell were Judy Collins, Yo-Yo Ma, and Itzhak Perlman?
“Alright, Mr. Watson, I’m going to give you a hand. The local cops don’t know how to handle this sort of thing, but my cases are more unusual.”
“We’d appreciate anything you can do. If word ever got out…”
“Relax. I’ll find out who here has a broken time machine.
I wrote this for the Rochelle Wisoff-Fields photo writing challenge. The idea is to use the image above as the inspiration for crafting a piece of flash fiction no more than 100 words long. My word count is 100.
I became dismayed when I realized that the photo was of a recognizable place, but I didn’t recognize it. Then Google image search came to the rescue. It’s the Metropolitan Museum of Art, otherwise known at the Met.
According to Wikipedia:
The museum celebrated its 75th anniversary (which it termed Diamond Jubilee) with a variety of events in 1946, culminating in the anniversary of the opening of its first exhibition on February 22, 1947.
What is coincidence. I created a San Francisco private detective named Moshe Katz who operates in 1947. He’s featured in the stories Death Visits Mexico and Son of Kristallnacht. So I decided to create a New York mystery for him to solve. Normally, his cases are rather mundane, but for this tale, I decided to change his history a bit.
Again, according to Wikipedia:
In 1954, to celebrate the opening of its Grace Rainey Rogers concert hall, the museum inaugurated a series of concerts, adding art lectures in 1956. This “Concerts & Lectures program” grew over the years into 200 events each season. The program presented such performers as Marian Anderson, Cecilia Bartoli, Judy Collins, Marilyn Horne, Burl Ives, Juilliard String Quartet, Yo-Yo Ma, Itzhak Perlman, Artur Rubinstein, András Schiff, Nina Simone, Joan Sutherland and André Watts, as well as lectures on art history, music, dance, theater and social history.
I didn’t read the paragraph carefully and was wondering how all of those performers could have been at the Met at the same time. Then I read more carefully, but the damage was done. What if there were a time machine accident and they really did appear at the Met simultaneously, and specifically on February 22, 1947?
Oh, Thomas J. Watson was the Met’s Vice President in 1947 and Tante and Feter are Aunt and Uncle in Yiddish.