Brushing Up Against the Buddha

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I am not a Buddhist although I have enjoyed Buddha’s company for many years. Cast in cement, he sits quietly on the deck outside my painting studio surrounded by lumpy concrete animals all purchased at Pizzarilli’s Lawn Decoratives, Inc. on Long Island. According to Pizzarilli Jr., Buddha was not a popular item. The pond frogs, he explained, kept the family business going. I got Buddha and two guard dogs at half price and loaded my menagerie - encased in bubble wrap - into the trunk of a rented car. My wife shook her head, not believing I’d actually bought these objects-not-art, and we headed back to New York City.

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