Friday, November 9, 2012

Saying Good-bye

D'Ann Fago and "Bootlegger's Daughter" at SPA.
On Monday, three days from now, I'll leave Vermont and head to NYC, then to France. I've been saying good-bye to old friends this week. Yesterday I paid a visit to Ellie Streeter and D'Ann Fago; today I'll have a trio of girlfriends here for lunch and a little band of high-school classmates in for evening pizza. Ellie is a contemporary of my mother's; we've shared a fence line for over 50 years. Two days before my mother died, Ellie came over unexpectedly for a little visit. "Did you have a premonition?" I asked her yesterday. She thought for a moment. "No," she said. "But I told myself I shouldn't put it off any longer." Maybe "intuition" is the better word. We sat on her couch and held hands; I shed a few tears. "I love you dearly," she said. "It's okay to cry." D'Ann is a member of the Hale Street Gang's Tuesday group. It is hard saying "so long" to my friends, especially the old-timers. "You won't be here for my birthday," said D'Ann yesterday. She said it twice, in fact. "Just stab me in the heart!" I yelped. We discussed the ramifications of Skype—both she and Ellie knew the term and had ideas about what it meant. In the end, I promised to send them postcards. 

SPA director Sue Higby (center) reviews coverage of D'Ann's show.

PS The pictures here were taken at Studio Place Arts in Barre last summer; I drove D'Ann there to see the show a couple of weeks after it opened. Her work, which spans 70 years, has been touring New England since 2010, when a retrospective opened at the Governor's Reception Hall in Montpelier. For the record, a pile of credit for the tour should go to our friend Jack Rowell, who is a fan of D'Ann's work (and of D'Ann herself) and knows the gallery folks in this part of the world.

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