For a Reason, For a Season, Forever

This is a little side trip in the midst of the series of posts about my past year’s experience in Mexico. It ponders friendship. I took both these portraits when these two were here to visit.

There is a cliché about friendships. It goes like this: There are three kinds of friendships. Some are for a reason, some are for a season, and some are forever. When you think about it, this cliché is pretty true. There are people who come into your life for a reason…maybe you are working on a project together. Maybe they are  a teacher or a student for you. There are people who come into your life for a “season,” a period of time. This is the usual pattern for friendships. At my stage of life, I have had many of these. Sometimes it is hard to accept that a relationship was only meant for a season, especially if this is a relationship that has been important to you. But, people go separate ways, people change, and people do just evolve and move forward (hopefully). It doesn’t lessen the value of the friendship if it doesn’t last forever. Over the years I have had some very dear friends who I loved and enjoyed, but who are just no longer part of my life. One or both of us changed, and we drifted into different directions. Doesn’t mean anything unpleasant happened. Of course, sometimes things end because something unpleasant did happen. Sometimes a relationship ends because one or both people finally realize that the relationship was in some way unhealthy. Whatever happens, the “for a reason” and “for a season” relationships become memories. You might cross paths with those people and either have fond memories, or hope you can get out of the room before they see you.
Then, there are the forever friendships. In our fast paced world, most of the forever friendships will have to endure the tests of not only time, but also of distance, unless both people continue to live in the same town for their entire lives. During the course of this year I have been so fortunate to spend some time with two of my long term forevers. It was by no design of mine that both these old friends were around to give me support at the scary beginning of a major health crisis, just like they had both given me support so many times before.
I have been friends with Trudy (on the left) since sometime around 1969. She came to Nashville from San Francisco, and I thought she was the coolest person I had ever seen. She was working in a “head shop” (anybody remember those?) in Nashville and I walked in one day to find her behind the counter, eating her lunch with chopsticks. It was Nashville. No one was eating with chopsticks. That pretty much did it. We became fast (in more than one sense of the word) friends, and we loved to get done up and prance around. I think hanging out with Trudy influenced my sense of what style really means more than any other person I have known. And, I am happy to report, she still has it…that effortless elegance that can be projected so easily. Trudy was not the kind of girl to stay in Nashville, so off she went to San Francisco, where I visited her in 1973. She then moved to New York, had a sojourn in Soho (when it was really interesting), where I also visited and ate whole grains with her at Food, a long since gone landmark. After New York, She ended up in Montreal (where Fred and I visited in 1980), with a great husband and eventually, two children who are now adults. Over the years we have continued to find ways to get together several times. The four of us went on a backpacking trip to the Smoky Mountains in 1982, where we were confronted with a bear stealing our food. They spent time with us in Zipolite three winters ago, and Trudy planned a two stay with us last winter here in San Miguel, with her husband joining her for one of the weeks. She had no idea what she was in for, and neither did I. She was here at the very beginning my health taking a weird turn…right between me knowing something was off to the part where I found out I had to have a hysterectomy. It went from heavy to heavier. What a genuine blessing it was to have this wonderful old friend here during that time.
But, I was doubly blessed in that another forever friend was also around during this year for some nice chunks of time. I met Gail (on the right) in (I think) 1976. At that time we were both living single and looking for adventure. So we did what any liberated, high achieving 30 somethings would do, we started whitewater canoeing together. We started for fun, but…we got really good at it. I think that chapter was one of the most self-defining of my life. I had never felt my own physical power, and it was a wonderful thing. Gail also introduced me to Unity Church, which was the beginning of quite a spiritual journey. I met Fred in 1978, and about that time the canoeing started to play out. I had hit a figurative wall with the paddling, and decided I probably needed to quit while I was still having fun. Gail became quite an entrepreneur and started doing the Tennessee Women’s Career Convention, got very successful in the world of public speaking, and moved to Phoenix. In a “season” or a “reason” relationship, that would have surely been the end of it. But, it wasn’t. We managed to continue to get together. Gail lived in some interesting places, and ended up settling in Santa Fe. But, in the last couple of years, she has been drawn to San Miguel, much to my surprise and delight. It was wonderful to have her around this year. She has the most remarkable sense of humor…the proof of this is that she always gets (and laughs at) my jokes.
It was also kind of marvelous to be around Gail and Trudy at the same time. One night, when I had a brief false hope that my problem was just a benign cyst, Fred took the three of us out for a celebration. It was a bit premature, but fabulous, nevertheless. It was also the last time I had a glass of champagne.
It is a joy to think about old friends, especially the ones who are still around. It takes a long time to recognize the forever ones. But, it’s interesting to see who they turn out to be.

Women of a Certain Age. Part 5

This is the final part of this series. For now…The woman pictured here was selling hats on the square at Patzcuaro. Fred and Pinky and I took a recent trip there for a few days just to check it out. I have a friend here in San Miguel who has a wonderful hat from Michoacan, and I did have the idea of hat-shopping on my mind. Most of the hats that this woman had for sale were pretty generic, but there was a pile set aside that had the feeling I was looking for. I saw the perfect one. I tried it on. Perfect fit. It now appears on my head in my FaceBook profile picture.

This lady has a certain air about her. I don’t think she messes around much. I seriously doubt that anyone messes around with her. She was wonderfully dressed, in the Old Mexico style of the women you see further south. I somehow managed to get the nerve to ask if I could take her picture. I loved the way she looked. She said okay, without registering any emotion one way or the other. The fact that I hadn’t tried to bargain with her about the price of the hat probably earned me some points. There is something in a face like this that says, “I see through all the crap. Don’t waste my time.” I snapped three and my nerve ran out. This is the one I like.

I have no idea how many years on earth this woman has accumulated. She could be younger than me. I don’t even know her name, or any part of her story. I just know when I look in the mirror at my own face, I would like to see more of this kind of strength.

 

Hometown Girl

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Morganna Love was born in San Miguel de Allende. I wish I knew more about her story, as what I do know fascinates me. At some point Morganna, who was born male, fully transitioned to female, and became the beautiful woman in these pictures. As a young man, the person who became Morganna also was training in classical opera. There is a documentary film, which I haven’t seen, about her transition, “Made in Bangkok.”

Last night this hometown girl came back to San Miguel, and a reception was held for her at Plata, a new club on Zacateros. This club is the brainchild of a couple of very interesting women, Lady Zen and her partner Lilia Garcelon. I met Lady Zen and Lilia recently at brunch at Aguamiel. I had been curious about their new venture and when I was invited to this reception I decided it would be a good night to check out the scene there. It was a lovely evening. Morganna talked and answered questions. She also sang. It was hard to believe the size of the voice that came out of such a petite woman. I was completely taken by her talent, beauty, and poise. She will be singing at the Angela Peralta Theatre, in concert with Xavier Gibler and the Choir of the Opera, here in San Miguel on June 9. I have been told that the town loves her, and that was pretty evident by last night’s attendance. It was a large crowd in a fairly small room and she held everyone spellbound.

Having been visiting San Miguel for a few years before we decided to live here, I had often wondered why there wasn’t a place here that catered to the LGBT audience. I think that Plata has filled that need. And, it is pretty obvious that there is a need for just such a place. But, Plata felt like much more than a bar. It seemed like a community. The crowd was mixed, in all the ways I could name. I would say that most of the people there were young, and Mexican, but I also felt that any like-minded person would be welcomed there. I certainly felt welcomed. The mood was very sophisticated. This club isn’t just about entertainment, it is also about education. They present many different art forms, and give the performers an opportunity to interact with the audience. I think some evenings just involve a DJ, and dancing.

The room is on the ground floor of a Lebanese restaurant, and you enter by walking down some stairs. It truly does have a bit of an “underground mystique.” They have done a very good job of putting the space together in an artful way. There were beautiful flowers in the room, lots of little treats being passed around for the reception, and Lady Zen and Lilia were the perfect hostesses. It was a event befitting a diva, and the diva held up her end of the deal. She was charming throughout the questions and answers, and her singing was compelling. I hope to go to her concert tomorrow night. I am sure it will be an evening to remember.

Plata. I am glad to find such a place in San Miguel, and I will definitely visit again.  It isn’t just another new bar in a town that is quickly exploding with new bars and restaurants that have a big city feeling. It is place that is filling a genuine need, and seems to be off to a very good start.

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Lilia Garcelon, one of the masterminds behind Plata. She is a performance artist, dancer, and describes herself as a “nightlife personality.” Not to mention she is extremely photogenic.

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Lady Zen. The other half of the energy behind Plata. She is a wonderfully outgoing personality, and quite a singer herself. I saw her perform last fall and I haven’t forgotten how impressed I was.

 

Women of a Certain Age. Part 4.

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This woman has appeared in my blog before. The story behind these photos is fascinating to me. And, I hope I have my facts straight. I don’t know the women’s names in these photos, but I do know a little about the older one. I put this info together from talking to a few people, doing a little internet research, and actually meeting her son.

The story goes that this woman started in business by selling scarves that she had woven. She took her very young son with her when she went to sell them. She was not only a weaver, she is also a businesswoman. When she saw that she couldn’t get a fair price for her labor and materials, she decided to cut some corners. Many craftspeople in Mexico have done that. The major work, the real quality pieces, can take days or weeks to complete. I don’t fault them for earning a living, and I have some pieces that I really love that I’m sure were done by machine.

Her son, Remigio Maestas Revilla, took a different route. He has devoted his life to changing the economics of weaving. He now has many weavers he works with throughout the small villages of Oaxaca and he presents and sells their work at a price that is fair to them. In his own way, he is keeping alive a vibrant craft tradition. He has a few stores around Mexico, among them, two in San Miguel de Allende. (One is on Correo, just off the square…Los Baules de Remigio. The other is on Recreo…Juana Cata.) The work he carries is extremely high quality, and exquisite. It is all done completely by hand, and uses natural dyes. His main store is in Oaxaca City is Los Baules de Juana Cata.

And his mother, the older woman in these pictures, also has a large store in Oaxaca City, a few blocks from her son’s store. After inspiring her son to preserve the old, tradition methods, she is still motivated to give the customer a bang for her buck. She carries room after room of Mexcan clothing that may not be made in the traditional ways, but is still very appealing. The stitching is done by machine, and the price is not enough to worry about. You can put together a completely wonderful look for not many pesos. Personally, I love these clothes. I think this woman has a real eye for fashion, and knows how to put the inexpensive pieces together for a real statement look. She is a real success story, whose  legacy will be carried on by her son and his children. I visited her store several times while we were in Oaxaca. She is quite a salesperson as well. She greets you at the door and starts to show you things in rapid order. You find yourself trying things on right in the store. If you buy several pieces you will probably get a little discount, and the colors are so bright and the prices so low…..you will leave with a full bolsa.

Then you might find yourself in one of Remigio’s stores. All the merchandise is in impeccable order. Each piece is a unique work of traditional craftsmanship. The colors are from natural dyes. They are beautiful, but much more subtle. No one rushes to show you things. You browse around and think about which piece you would buy if you wanted a splurge. One night Fred and I were there and he bought a scarf for me. The shopping experience was very delightful. The scarf came with a little tag about where it was made and who made it. Remigio, his wife and two children, were in the store. I was somehow able to communicate how I appreciate the work he does. And, that I am familiar with his mother, a true example of a Mexican woman entrepreneur.

https://margaretellisaroundthehouse.com/2015/07/07/feliz-cumpleanos-frida-kahlo-2/

This is a link to a post about this same subject.

Women of a Certain Age, Part 3.

This lady is one I see frequently on the street in San Miguel de Allende, usually helping out a flower seller who works near a sidewalk cafe. There is something compelling about her. I was pleased and rather surprised when she agreed to let me take her photo. She doesn’t have the strong, outgoing personality of the woman in the first of these posts, and she doesn’t seem to have the confidence of the woman in the second post of this series. In fact, in this woman I  always sense a feeling of vulnerability and shyness. I always say hello to her. Sometimes she holds out her hand to me, sometimes she doesn’t. When she does, I always find some pesos for her.

As a woman growing up in the USA I have certainly dealt with issues of strength and vulnerability. I have always thought that a woman could be one or the other…strong or vulnerable…but not both at the same time. My life in Mexico has taught me that only when we realize our vulnerability can we really find our strength. As a child growing up in a fairly dysfunctional situation I always felt vulnerable. The same vulnerability carried over into my first marriage. I was always expecting someone to come in the door in a really hostile mood, and even if it had nothing to do with me, I always felt it was my job to fix it. At around age 35 I managed to see that I could also be strong, and I saw being strong as the key to my survival. I saw strong as good, and vulnerable as not so good.  My experiences in Mexico have helped me to see that I can actually be strong even when I am most vulnerable. In fact, the only way to be truly strong is to be able to accept my vulnerabilities, love that scared child within me, and then to find my strength. I now see that we cannot really know our strengths until we also see our vulnerabilities. It is the ability to see both these sides of ourselves that matters most. So many women, especially women like me (old enough to have been strongly affected by the Feminist Movement..and to know what life was like before it), are not willing to see how vulnerable they really are. It’s always got to be Wonder Woman, all the time.

I don’t know the difficulties that some of the women I see here experience every day. I don’t know their joys. But, what I see is their magnificent survival. It is a simpler life here, and people aren’t all worked up about impressing each other. There is a kindness of spirit that I see in the faces I meet on the street. There is a shyness, just waiting for me to make the first move and say hello. I suspect they wonder about me sometimes, too. While I know that our lives have been very different, I also see more each day how similar we are.

One of the most important things I have learned about living in Mexico is that I simply cannot judge the lives of others. Many people come to a country like this and think that somehow the people’s lives are inferior because of the standard of living that they see. But, wait. Stop and look. This is not inferior, it’s just different. If you can put aside your own standards and expectations you can find a world very different from what you have ever experienced, but a beautiful world, nonetheless. And, you can look inside yourself and find strengths you didn’t know you had. And, when you need to feel vulnerable, you can just do that, too…without judging yourself at all.

Women of a Certain Age. Part 2.

This photo will never cease to amaze me. What amazes me is that I got it. This woman walked by me in the twinkle of an eye. We were in a large market in a village in Oaxaca. It was packed with local people, and a beehive of activity. People were selling things, looking for things, buying things…..things including live chickens, all sorts of food, clothing, household goods, motor parts, vats of a nasty local moonshine called pulque….you name it. From the midst of all the confusion, I started to go down a little flight of stairs, from one area to another. At that moment I saw this woman, and she saw my camera, right in her face. Instead of turning away, as many of the women here are likely to do, she gave me a beautiful smile…a little pose. She even found her light. Then she was gone. I got one shot at this one, and it was sheer luck. Or perhaps I should say, a magical blessing.

The feeling I came away with from this instant was the confidence of this woman. She is who she is. I asked Fred last night if that phrase, “Vanity thy name is woman,” came from the Bible or Shakespeare. (It was Shakespeare.) There is something about this woman that has caused me to think about my own vanity. Not to be too hard on myself, because working in the fashion/art business in the USA can sure cause a woman to want to look as young as possible. I certainly did. Almost everyone I hung out with was also concerned with this. And, most of them were a good 15 t0 30 years younger than me.   And, if you want to true confession, I always wondered why anyone who had access to that kind of technology wouldn’t do it if they possibly could.

Please don’t misunderstand me. I am not at all critical of having a little work done. God knows, I’ve had a bit. I am not sorry for doing any of it. I just wouldn’t do it at this point. I have come to realize that the right people don’t love you or like you because of how you look. They love you because of the way you make them feel. And, in this culture, the attitudes about age seem very different. Elders are respected. The grandmothers are powerful members of the family unit.

I have been away from the assistance of needles, lasers, and all the other wonderful help with this situation since October. It’s definitely available in San Miguel and it’s about time for a fill-up. But, I’m not going to do it. I am becoming happy with my face the way it is. In this culture I feel no real need to look young; I just want to look healthy and happy. And, of course, I’m not “cashing in my chips.” If you know me you know I love make-up and dress-up. I just am starting to feel that I can feel comfortable with the way I actually look and come across as a 73 year old woman at the same time, and that’s ok. In fact, that’s remarkable.

Women of a Certain Age. Part One.

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I am so moved and amazed by the older women I see in Mexico. There is a strength of character in their faces. Some of them have lived hard lives, but they are a true inspiration to me. The lady in these pictures is Publita, I see her occasionally on the streets of San Miguel. I always stop and give her money. She gives me a smile. She has so much personality. She seems like a force of nature. I know very little about her, but I always look for her when I am out and about. What a wonderful face she has. I am going to show you five women in this series. They are just the ones I have been lucky enough to capture. There are many more that got away. All of these faces have made me change some of my ideas about aging. I no longer see it as something to dread. I see it as something to aspire to.

Remembering Sam

The photo shown with this post actually has nothing to do with the subject of the post. This is a story from decades ago, before digital photos. I took this photo a couple of days ago, when the sun was so bright and the lighting so all over the place that I could barely see what I was shooting. But, when I managed to catch the eye of the guy looking straight at the camera, I thought I probably had something. I was pleased to see the strangeness of this picture.
But, this post is about remembering Sam. For some reason I started thinking of him while I was editing this photo. I can’t say that I still think of him everyday, or even all that often, but when I do think of him, it is with an unusual amount of intensity.
When Sam was a junior high school student, I was his art teacher. This was at some point around 1967, more or less. He was a good kid, and he really liked me. I was going through a period of identity seeking that involved strange fashion. One day I put up my hair and attached a cluster of curls to the top. I know that you have a hard time picturing me doing this. I also wore 3 pair of false eyelashes…all at the same time. So, Sam walks up to my desk and says,”Is that a hairpiece?” My response was to tell him that that was an inappropriate question. At which point, he spun on his heel, walked away, and said over his shoulder, “I was just going to say that I like it!”
Sam went on to high school and a few years passed. One evening I decided to visit the Watch Your Hat and Coat Saloon, a gay bar that was really happening in Nashville in the 1970’s. The event that evening was the first Miss Gay America Pageant. It was 1972. As I walked towards the door, I heard a voice call out my name in the way a former student would say it. I turned to see Sam. At this point Sam was 20, and I was 29. He was amazed and thrilled to see me. I am sure the fact that I was cool with him being gay was important. We became instant adult friends. In fact, Sam helped me get through the disaster of moving out of a bad marriage.
His speciality was decorating. I found a nice little apartment and splurged on fixing it up. Sam could spin into a room, pick up a paint brush and a staple gun and put the queer eye on it in a heartbeat.
More time passed, and Sam ended up moving to California, where he became quite successful in the area of retail visual merchandising. In Nashville, he had worked into the job of display director for Cain-Sloan, now Dillard’s. All of this from a very young man who had such a great talent that he required no formal education to go to the top of a very competitive field.
While Sam was in California, my life took some major upward turns. I married Fred, and started the jewelry business. Sam was happy for me to have found Fred, and he was over- the-top-excited about the jewelry business. This was 1983. Sometime around 1985, Sam moved to New York. Now the circle was complete, as I was traveling there frequently. Once Sam moved to New York, he loved to help me set up for trade shows. (Actually, I was always the helper when Sam was around. He was in charge.) I will never forget the time he showed up to set up wearing an all-white, sort of I think western, outfit.  Very long fringe on the sleeves and chest. After he finished setting up my booth, he proceeded to go out into the aisle and twirl furiously, just to feel the fringe move, because that’s just how Sam was. This was in the days when my friends Phillip and Sunny were also in New York, designing clothes. Sam was quite a customer, and they did wonderful, over-the-top men’s wear for Sam. In fact, I’m pretty sure they were responsible for that shirt.
There was one darkness that floated above this time in history, the specter of AIDS. Unfortunately, Sam was one of the casualties. It was so heart-breaking. At that time it was a death sentence. The drugs weren’t around yet. It had spread before anyone knew what it was. For the people of Sam’s days there had been no warning. They had contracted the disease while it was in the process of being discovered.
By this time in his life Sam had a loving partner who had the means to take very good care of him. The little boy who made it on sheer determination ended up living in a beautiful town house in New York. For a time, during his later years, Sam had a retail store in the Flatiron District. He was a pioneer of the boom of that neighborhood. The name of the store was Flatiron, and Sam specialized in selling display items that people could use in their homes.
After Sam had been diagnosed, but before he was really sick, he made a speech to a packed Carnegie Hall. It was a fund-raiser for AIDS research and Sam’s subject was love. He received a standing ovation.
The last time I saw Sam was in New York a few months before he passed. He had decided to just have fun that night and was wearing a beautiful black suit and an Andy Warhol crazy wig. “Girl,” he said, as Fred and I left the restaurant, “Always give ’em fashion!”

Finding Sunny

This is a true story. And, a fairly long one.

One afternoon in the summer of 1983 I was invited to a little gathering of friends to meet Philip, a Nashville boy who had moved to the big city, and his “new friend,” Sunny. As I walked up the sidewalk to the house, I was very aware of a young and very beautiful Japanese person sitting on the steps. My first thought was that Sunny was a female with a very short haircut. He was wearing beautifully cut white linen Bermuda shorts and a crisp, white tee. I believe that a thin leather belt was around his waist. He was immaculate. It was pretty clear that he was more than a friend to Philip. They were quite a glamourous pair. I may have told them I was thinking of coming to New York to see if I could actually find a market for my jewelry. I just remember that after that meeting I was on the phone with Philip a lot for advise. Sunny had just started designing clothes and Philip was involved in the business as well. Philip had a few years of experience in that world, having been a major display director, both in California and New York. He had also done a bit of modeling, as he was quite the striking guy.

My memories of the early days when I frequently went to New York to sell my jewelry revolve around Philip and Sunny. I always spent a lot of time with them, hanging out at their apartment on the Upper West Side or in their studio, which I think was on 36th Street. I always loved their approval, especially Sunny’s. I thought that Sunny was the most stylish person I had ever known. I remember one winter day he came into the studio wearing a black overcoat and gloves. The way he took off his gloves was nothing but art. So many little detail memories about Sunny. He was so light-hearted, yet knife-edge serious. He had the most incredible taste. He selected the most splendid fabrics. He was designing luxury clothes for a luxury market. The clothes were, in a word, fabulous. Every season Sunny seemed to design for a special woman who lived in his mind. He always had a little story about “Her.” “She wears this out to lunch. She is quite a lady. She never leaves the house before noon.” They achieved a nice amount of success. They had a map in their office with red pins sticking in all the places they were selling. It was exciting to see the red dots.

I could never wait to get to the showroom and start trying things on. At that time, samples were a size 8, and so was I. Every season I placed an order (which I got to buy at wholesale.) My wardrobe was becoming pretty amazing. But, my favorite piece of all was a gift from Sunny and Philip. The first time I went to New York I didn’t take a proper coat. It was the end of October and had just started to be a bit chilly in Nashville. The weather was different in New York. It was quit chilly. Sunny and Philip gave me a coat. Not just a coat. The most fantastic coat I had ever seen. I still have it. I brought it to Mexico to wear on winter nights. It is taupe cut velvet. Just a long, straight coat. It looks very current today, even though it was made in 1983.

Time rolled along and so did our friendship. Fred started going to New York with me in 1987, and the threesome became a foursome. We were tight friends. So many times we’d go by the studio and Philip would say, “Let’s get some lunch.” And we would.

Things always have a way of changing. It became harder and harder to make it in the New York world of fashion without a big money backer. It finally got too hard for Philip and Sunny to stay in the game. The world was changing, too. The black specter of HIV had entered the scene, and many friends were dying. Philip and Sunny went to California. New York was never the same for me without them.

After some more time had passed I learned that Philip was HIV positive and ill. It was very hard to take that one. I had hoped that somehow Philip and Sunny had dodged that bullet. Even though by the time Philip passed I had almost grown numb to the shock of seeing young, vital friends go, it was very hard for me with Philip. I was so far away from him. It all seemed so far away, and so unreal.

More time passed. Sunny was back in New York. Fred and I got together with him. But, somehow things seemed to have drifted and we eventually lost touch altogether. I think he also went back to California around that time.

So some years passed. I thought of Sunny often. I didn’t know where he was, and I wondered. This was before the internet. No emails, no Google.

But, then we entered the computer age and one night I was fooling around and decided to Google Sunny. I found a lot of press from the old days of fashion, but then I found a strange mention in a website featuring the music of Antony and the Johnsons. It was a bit vague but I thought the person mentioned was “my” Sunny. What became clear to me later was that in the video of the song, “You are My Sister,” there were several trans women that were called The Great Beauties. Sunny was one of those women. There was a place for contact on the website and I sent a message asking them to please have this person email me. Three weeks later, he did. The email said, “I am enclosing a picture that will explain about me right now.” (Or something to that effect.) The picture was of a beautiful, 40’ish  Japanese woman in an evening gown. It was, without a doubt, Sunny. It seems I was right in my first impression. What I saw was the woman who lived inside Sunny, who he was now fully expressing.  I was doubly happy to have found her, and to have found that she was still alive.

We got together the next time Fred and I were in New York. She was living on West 4th Street. We had walked past her apartment dozens of times, because we always stayed in the West Village. Sunny and I continued to get together. Whenever I was in New York we would have a girl’s day. I found it quite an interesting experience to be with Sunny as a woman. She seemed like a different person, but also the same. I felt closer to her as a female than I did to Sunny as a male. It is beautiful for me to remember Sunny at both these times.

The last time I got together with Sunny was the day I took this photo. Since we had retired we hadn’t taken any trips to New York. In April, 2014, Fred and I took a little New York vacation with Andrew and Kyle. On the last day I was in town, Sunny and I got together for lunch. I was wearing a scarf that Sunny had designed in the 1980’s. Her reaction was, “That’s beautiful fabric. I wish I had kept one of those.” Last summer when I was cleaning things out I realized that I had somehow ended up with two of those scarves. I sent one of them to Sunny, my beautiful friend.

 

Una Mujer de Fe

With the help of Google Translate, this post is written in Spanish, because that is the language of the person I want to talk about today. The English version is at the bottom.

Una Mujer de Fe
Si usted es un amigo de Facebook, es posible que recuerde un par de semanas que puse un post acerca de Violeta, una masajista que tenía found. Desde que puse ese puesto, Violeta y yo se han convertido en amigos en Facebook. Y, desde sus puestos supe que ella es una mujer de fe, que cree en el poder de la oración y los milagros. Y, eso está bien conmigo. Siempre siento la buena energía que viene a través de sus manos. Para estar cerca de ella es una alegría. Ella trata de ser útil con mi español, porque me gusta hablar español cuando puedo. A pesar de que tenemos una capacidad limitada para hablar unos con otros, estamos llegando a conocer unos a otros. Soy muy afortunada de tener este hermoso espíritu que mi vida. Ella me ayuda a recordar que también creo en los milagros y en un Poder que es mucho mayor que la mía. Ayer decidí jugar Dire Straits mientras lo hacía su magia. No estaba segura de cómo se sentiría acerca de esta música, como pensé que podría sonar un poco no familiarizado con ella. Cuando se fue, me dijo, “Me gusta la musica hoy.”

Si usted vive en San Miguel se pueden encontrar en el estudio de Violeta Quebrada, justo al lado de la Casa Hyder, la casa grande cubierto de flores

A Woman of Faith
If you are a FaceBook friend, it is possible you remember a couple of weeks ago I put up a post about Violeta, a masseuse I had found.Since I put up that post, Violeta and I have become friends on FaceBook. And, from her posts I learned that she is a woman of faith, who believes in the power of prayer and miracles. And, that’s fine with me. I always feel the good energy that comes through her hands. To be around her is a joy. She tries to be helpful with my Spanish, because I like to speak Spanish when I can. Although we have a limited ability to talk with each other, we are getting to know each other. I am very blessed to have this beautiful spirit I my life. She helps me to remember that I also believe in miracles and in a Power that is much higher than my own. Yesterday I decided to play Dire Straits while she did her magic. I wasn’t sure how she would feel about this music, as I thought it might sound a bit unfamiliar to her. As she left she told me, “Me gusta la musica hoy.” (I liked the music today.)
If you live in San Miguel you can find Violeta’s studio on Quebrada, right next door to Casa Hyder, the big house covered with flowers.