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It was broken glass, for sure

November 20, 2003

"A Handmade View" (Nov. 6), celebrating the beauty of stained glass and the current stained glass on view at the Getty Museum, drew my thoughts back to the '70s and an astonishing young woman from Lithuania who had never seen glass in such blazing colors.

Since her husband had advertised their Silver Lake house for sale, my husband and I knocked on their neat, modest door and were welcomed into a living room bare of furniture except for a lavish carpet and two folding chairs.

He said they had come from the icy airport in Lithuania right to "the palm trees and cactus." Their emigrant aunt had died and now they had this big house, which they were working on "to make it nice."

Her husband demonstrated how we could create another bedroom. Then she showed us the shiny louver windows in the living room and spoke of how much it had cost to put in the nice new glass, but they had to do it, because "the windows were all broken -- lots of crazy colors of glass all stuck together with little pieces of metal."

Rather stunned, we walked around the block before returning to our car. We exchanged a few thoughts about how bleak life must be in a place with no history of the light-catching glory of colored glass.

Jeanne S. Morgan

Santa Barbara

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