Remembering A Friend

Good Morning, everyone.  I had the good fortune of knowing Annabella as a professional, an artist and a friend.  

Annabella and I first met when she was the Supervisor for Physical Education in the Weston City Public Schools and I was a teacher.  During a time when Weston City Schools had no physical education teachers in the elementary schools, Annabella would in-service us teachers on appropriate exercises for young children.  Annabella’s posture alone was enough to keep us teachers riveted on her person.  But, her words and demonstrations of those exercises held everyone spell-bound.  Annabella spoke with authority and moved with grace.

Later, when I worked with Annabella in the curriculum office, I was awed by her intelligence and commitment, especially when it came to keeping children safe.  At one time the Board of Education kept harassing the superintendent to institute a middle school football team. Annabella as the Supervisor of Health and Physical Education, was dead set against.  One of the wisest things that superintendent ever did was to ask Annabella to write and deliver a report on why having inter- scholastic middle school football was not the right thing to do for the children of Weston City. Louise’s report, full of facts, statistics and righteous indignation delivered in a style which was a cross between and college professor and a fire-breathing minister actually changed the mind of the Board. 

Annabella was an artist.  She took award winning photographs and wrote clever poetry. Two of her photographs appeared in the Art Collection of William and Therese Marlin shown at Camden County College at the dedication of the Marlin Gallery where Annabella  read poetry.  Here is an example of her  work.

                                                                The Cat and the Rat

                                                A fat cat and a

                                                skinny rat decided

                                                to change their

                                                shapes.  The plumper

                                                rat posed for hungry

                                                cat posters.  But the cat

                                                lost her lover.  He

                                                left with another; old

                                                Henry loved kitties

                                                with meat on

                                                their seats.

Annabella became my friend.  Our friendship started with mutual respect, moved on to common interests and rested in genuine affection and caring.  My treasured image of Annabella is of her bouncing out of her apartment building, straight as an arrow in her skinny jeans and tan leather jacket.  She jumps into the car and we’re off to see a new sculpture by a mutual friend, talking all the way about our latest projects, political snafus, and spiritual beliefs.  We stop for coffee where she gives me the receipt for her latest skin cream then invites me to touch her face which has had only a week’s application – smooth.  Our afternoon ends as usual with a big hug and kiss

I knew Annabella as a professional and as an artist.  But, in my heart of hearts, I grieve for Annabella, my close and dear friend.

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