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Dear Friends:
I have wonderful news about the P. Buckley Moss Society’s project to include English instruction in the small island schools near Bocas del Toro, Panama.  As many of you know, this project started with the Society funding an English-speaking teacher, supplies, and some transportation.  At the time the project was started, the Panamanian government was not funding English instruction in the small island schools.  The English teacher funded by the Society is Virginia Vasquez, a native of Bocal del Toro, and an excellent teacher and manager.  A few years ago, the funding of the project was shifted from the Society to foreign locals in the area who could afford to support the program, while Virginia continued to manage the program and teach.

This picture was taken in 2002 in one of Virginia’s classrooms.  I’m standing in the center in the back, and Virginia is the tall lady on my left, your right.  Aren’t the children wonderful!

My wonderful news is that the program will now be supported financially by the Panamanian government!  About a year ago, Virginia met with Panama’s Minister of Education, and Senior Rodriquez was so impressed with Virginia’s management of the program and the support of the Society and the local community that he asked what the government could do to help.  Now, one of the schools will receive new computers, and the government will provide two more English teachers.  The two new teachers will be responsible for two island schools each.  The local funding effort will continue to provide transportation for children from Solarte to Carenero and will also support a teacher for two more schools for one year.  With the government support of the program, the local funding effort will try to shift to the provision of libraries and dental and medical clinics as the funds become available.  The Minister, in the meantime, has appointed Virginia as director of the island English program and coordinator of the two programs.
I am so thrilled that the spark our Society started has become a torch that has been passed on to the local communities and the Panamanian government.  I am also delighted that Virginia has received the recognition that she deserves, too.  None of it would have been possible without her.
This is my last week in St. Petersburg, Florida.  It’s time for me to head back up to Virginia as my show schedule starts to really kick in.  I couldn’t resist going back to the Decorators’ Show House that I told you about last week, though, because when I was there I fell in love with two pieces of Oriental-styled furniture with the most beautiful orange patina.  I had to see them again.  I get to see art everywhere I go, and I love to see it in furniture.  If I had another house, I would furnish it all in pieces like those.
My niece Patty (my sister Honey’s daughter—I also have a daughter named Patty) and her husband surprised me with a visit.  Harold went to spend some time with his mother, and Patty and I went to lunch.  Patty is retired from teaching art at a university in Texas, so we talked about art and reminisced about family.  Patty, like me, has a great appreciation of Italy and visits there often, so we had even more to talk about.  We had a great time together.
My Patty is coming down this week to help me with the drive to Virginia.  We’ll stop in Marietta, Georgia, along the way for my show with The Framery on March 28.  I have so many dear friends in the Atlanta area, and our relationship together goes back twenty or thirty years.  I’m looking forward to seeing them and also to making some new friends.  Gallery owner Barry Watson and I will release my latest print of the Atlanta area, titled The Margaret Mitchell House.  I’m sure all of you know who Margaret Mitchell is; she wrote Gone With the Wind, of course!
The house was originally built as a two-story, single-family home in 1899 and was converted into a three-story apartment building in 1919.  Margaret Mitchell and her husband John Marsh lived in Apartment #1 during the years 1925-1932, during which time she wrote most of Gone With the Wind.  The classic novel was published in June, 1936, and Mitchell was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for it in May, 1937.  The book inspired one of the greatest movies of all time, which premiered at Loew’s Grand Theater in Atlanta on December 15, 1939.  Among those present at the premier were actress Vivien Leigh, who won an Oscar for her portrayal of Scarlett O’Hara; actor Clark Gable, who is unforgettable as Rhett Butler; and author Margaret Mitchell.

The Margaret Mitchell House will be released during my show with The Framery in Marietta, GA, on March 28.  For more information, please contact the gallery at 770-977-8667.


The Moss Portfolio
74 Poplar Grove Lane
Mathews, VA 23109
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©P. Buckley Moss 2009

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