Ten Years After

January 13, 2009 at 12:30 am 5 comments

January 14, 1999, Peterborough, NH

January 14, 1999, Peterborough, NH

Take a gander at those two small faces, the goofy clown-red gloves on her, the Icelandic headband on him, the arm, placed ever so gingerly, nervously even, on her shoulder, fingers wondering just what they can get away with. These two people just met the day before, when she arrived at the venerable MacDowell colony to begin an eight week residency devoted to her longstanding sculpture project, Menagerie Recovery. He had arrived one day earlier, and was well set up in his little cottage in the woods, dropping erasers onto the same piano sound board that Aaron Copland had made resonate with glory some sixty odd years earlier. On the night of January 13th, shortly before dinner, he looked up from the pool table and saw her – a new face, one not present the night before – warming her hands on a mug of hot water next to a raging fire. She looked up. He walked over.

And somehow, a scant fifteen hours later, they walked the short, icy walk into town together, linking arms when the hill proved most unmanageable, and conveniently forgetting to unlink them when the precautionary measure was no longer necessary for either of their safety. They trudged through the brisk New Hampshire morning, and found some Peterborough local to snap this photograph. Click. A single moment in time, captured in an age when photos were still sent out for printing, a vision of two happy and hopeful souls, walking into the quaint village to buy postage stamps and whiskey. After the moment passed, the two fellows would succeed in their errands and then fortuitously bump into Blake, MacDowell’s saintly lunch and firewood man, who softly regaled them with tales of Thorton Wilder and old dogs and whatnot on the walk back home.

His two week residency would proceed most unproductively, while she would spend the next fifty odd days filling Mixter studio with the most wonderful little creatures, detailed, delicate, and with sad and magical eyes. And somehow here we are, ten years after, arrived at this new and special moment, exhausted but ever hopeful, believing that the next 3650 days will hold every bit as much joy, mystery and mayhem as the ones now faded from our grasp. Here’s looking at us, kid.


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5 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Nina  |  January 13, 2009 at 9:42 am

    She’s cute! Not sure you can win a girl like that but try. May as well aim for the top.

    (Congratulations! Talk about a happy anniversary!)

  • 2. Paul Winkler  |  January 13, 2009 at 11:09 am

    You know, I think my dad played that piano too. He has very happy memories of MacDowell.

  • 3. shnootre  |  January 13, 2009 at 12:19 pm

    Hey that’s cool – I once almost overlapped with your dad at the VCCA. And…your dad wrote what is, for my money, the best article about pop music scholarship ever: “Writing Ghost Notes” – I absolutely love it, and it was very influential on my dissertation. I may have mentioned this already…but just thought I’d say it again…

    Oh – Copland probably had his paws over a bunch of pianos there. This one was in Kirby.

  • 4. tonya  |  January 15, 2009 at 2:23 pm

    Love this story! What a happy day.

  • 5. Kala  |  January 18, 2009 at 8:41 am

    I love this! One of my favorite personal-blog entries I’ve read in a long time. 🙂


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