Greetings from Cortona! My granddaughter Kate Donnelly and I arrived
just in time for my granddaughter Michela Ghezzi’s first communion,
and all of us have been having fun absorbing the Tuscan atmosphere and
Michela was all smiles at her communion lunch. Her proud father
Roberto beams beside her.
It was a riot to watch this theater troop (dressed in white) act
out a parody of the many weddings that take place on these steps in
Two local men tried hard to ignore this actress when she joined
them on “their” bench.
I’ve been celebrating my 75th birthday in style,
and I want to take this opportunity to thank everyone for the many thoughtful
cards and e-mail messages I’ve received. Thank you so very
much for remembering my special day!
The fun started last week with WVPT-TV’s live airing of their
documentary about my life P. Buckley Moss: The Lady Behind
the Brush. WVPT also produced a DVD tour of the P.
Buckley Moss Museum, and both the documentary and the Museum “tour”
are available via WVPT’s
website. The airing of the documentary was part of WVPT’s
40th anniversary and my 75th birthday celebrations. The whole
evening surpassed my wildest dreams. Everyone was so gracious,
and every detail had been planned. I don’t think there are
words to express my appreciation.
WVPT arranged for a beautiful white limousine to pick up seven of my
family members and me and chauffer us to the home of Tassie Pippert.
Tassie does the station’s live cooking show and is a gourmet cook.
She does the show from her own kitchen, which has been specially designed
to accommodate the live show.
“Our chariot awaits!” L. to R.: My granddaughter
Kate Donnelly, my daughter Patty Moss, me, my daughter Mary Donnelly,
my grandson Picco Gabellieri, and my son-in-law Corrado Gabellieri.
Not shown are Mary Morgan and Jake Henderson, who were taking pictures.
I was greeted by old friends Peter and Maria Rippe when
we arrived at Tassie’s. Peter was the first director of
my Museum. I wanted to put my arms around both of them at the
same time. I was surrounded by family and friends at Tassie’s:
my daughters Patty Moss and Mary Donnelly; my grandchildren Kate Donnelly
and Picco Gabellieri; my son-in-law Corrado Gabellieri; Patty’s
friend Mary Morgan; my business partner Jake Henderson; Peter and Maria
Rippe; Ed Clark, President of the Wildlife Center of Virginia; Dave
Mullins, WVPT General Manager; Marilyn Maitland, WVPT Director of Development;
Shari Pennington, WVPT Producer; Brad Roof, former WVPT Board Chair
and Art auction Emcee; and Brad Roof’s wife Adele.
I am still raving about the meal that Tassie, her son Tim, and her assistant
Matt Simes prepared. There were five courses, including dessert,
each accompanied by a different Virginia wine. Sorbets were served
between the courses. I am speechless when I think of the time
and energy they must have put into planning and preparing the meal.
Seated to my left (your right) is Tassie Pippert, host of WVPT
Cooks and our most gracious hostess for dinner. Behind us
are, left to right, Tassie’s son Tim Pippert and Matt Simes, who
is a Hospitality and Tourism Management student from James
After dinner, our limo drove us to WVPT’s station
in Harrisonburg, Virginia, where my daughter Ginny Gabellieri and granddaughter
Chiara joined us for the broadcast. Ginny and Chiara initially
planned on attending dinner at Tassie’s with us, but Chiara found
out she had soccer tryouts that afternoon. Chiara is very serious
about soccer! My son John and his wife Maureen also joined us
at the station.
I was greeted by so many friends and literally given the “red
The broadcast started off by auctioning several framed
Peace prints. Each year for 28 years I’ve donated
a special print edition to WVPT for them to sell and raise money with.
The funds raised help support WVPT’s excellent family programming,
which is much appreciated throughout the Valley. Area school systems
show some of the programs in their classrooms. Winter’s
Peace is this year’s special print and is available exclusively
through WVPT. It features the
symbol I used for the P. Buckley
Moss Society’s first Members Only Print, two geese in winter.
I am very appreciative of the way my dealers in the Valley framed the
prints for the auction.
We got to watch the video of my life on big screen TVs as it was being
aired. During the breaks, I introduced my family and was presented
with a big, fabulous birthday cake and a gift that practically took
my breath away. It was a print by Amedeo Modigliani (1884-1920),
the Italian painter and sculptor. I am a fan of his work, and
the print is a priceless treasure to me.
Back row, L. to R.: Picco, my son John, John’s wife
Maureen, Jake, my daughter Ginny, and Corrado (laughing, off to the
far right). Middle row, L. to R.: Kate, Mary Donnelly, Mary
Morgan, and Patty. Seated, L. to R.: me and Chiara.
Seated to the very far left is WVPT General Manager David Mullins.
Note the Modigliani print on the easel!
The airing of the documentary was followed by the auction
of more of the prints, and I was excited to learn that people were calling
in from as far away as Iowa, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Florida.
Those people were watching the broadcast on their computers via WVPT’s
live internet stream. Thank you, thank you for watching!
Isn’t technology wonderful!
Guests were able to watch the live airing on big screen TV’s.
Bob Almond, Executive Director of the P.
Buckley Moss Foundation for Children’s Education, is holding
the remote control.
I also wish to thank members of my Museum staff who attended
and celebrated my birthday. They were still there having fun when
I left. Corrado drove Ginny’s car back to Waynesboro so
that Ginny and Chiara could have a chance to ride in the limo.
They missed out on Tassie’s amazing dinner, so we asked the limo
driver (who was a really good sport) to stop at McDonald’s so
they could get something to eat. Can you believe it! Here’s
It was too big to go through the drive-thru, but what a fun memory!
The next day, Kate and I were off to Italy. I slept
on the plane!
This weekend is Memorial Day weekend. Please take a moment to
remember our armed forces as they protect us and defend our freedoms.
’Til next week…ciao!
I am very sorry to hear that Senator Edward “Ted” Kennedy
has been diagnosed with a malignant brain tumor. I am praying
for him and his loved ones as they join so many others in battling this
I have lost many friends to cancer; and, I am a breast cancer survivor
myself and, therefore, a supporter of the American Cancer Society and
support groups and organizations. I was deeply honored when the
Tumor Quality of Life Center in Richmond, Virginia, asked if they
could use my image of The
for their logo. I first met the Cullather family during my
2003 Collectors’ Convention in Richmond, Virginia. I learned
that the family had already lost a son to a brain tumor and that the
mother, who loved hummingbirds, was also battling the disease.
I went to visit the family, who lived nearby, and I was so inspired
by the way the whole family supported and loved one another. I
created the painting and print edition featuring a hummingbird in their
In 2007 I created another print edition featuring a hummingbird and
titled it Indomitable
Spirit and donated a quantity to the Cullather Brain Tumor
Quality of life Center for fundraising. I learned that hummingbirds,
which are very small, are surprisingly strong-willed, and I thought
how appropriate the Cullathers chose the hummingbird as the symbol for
their Center. It not only honors their loved ones who have passed
on but also symbolizes the fighting spirit of all cancer patients.