I was so proud of my granddaughter Kate as she received her diploma
from Radford High School this past Friday. She is the first of my ten
grandchildren to graduate, and she plans on attending the University
of Georgia in the fall, studying in the university’s liberal arts
Mary, Kate , Sarah and Sean celebrate Kate's graduation from Radford
I was so inspired by the Valedictorian’s speech,
and I want to share part of his story with you. James Rogers is a remarkable
young man who is living proof that learning different children can be
successful. James was diagnosed with a learning difference when he was
in kindergarten and had difficulty learning to read. With the help and
encouragement from one of his early elementary school teachers, James
made the decision to work hard and excel. Excel he did! James graduated
with a 4.5 grade point average and was accepted to Harvard University,
which he turned down so that he could instead accept the prestigious
Jefferson Scholarship offered to him by the University of Virginia.
Over the weekend, Kate’s mother Mary, her sister Sarah, and I
went to The
Greenbrier Hotel in White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia, and took
a tour of the nuclear fallout shelter located under the hotel. Ground
was broken for the shelter in 1957, and its existence was kept a secret
for thirty years. It was constructed to shelter solely members of the
United States Congress and their aides during the event of a nuclear
attack during the Cold War years. The tour was fascinating, with much
of the shelter’s contents still intact. Known as Project Greek
Island, the shelter was decommissioned by the government in the early
’90’s and is open to the public for guided tours.
L. to R., Pat, tour guide Birk Struthers, Mary, and Sarah. Pat,
Mary, and Sarah found their tour of the decommissioned nuclear fallout
shelter at Greenbrier Hotel to be fascinating, thanks to their exceptional
guide Birk Struthers.
What a treat it was to have dinner with Greg Johnson and
his wife Libby while we were in West Virginia. Greg is the playwright
who has written a play about my childhood, my early years as an artist,
and my work on behalf of learning different children. Thursday’s
Child is the title of the play, and it will premier at the Greenbrier
Valley Theatre in Lewisburg, West Virginia, on August 9. Greg gave us
a tour of the theatre, which is delightful, and I’m very excited
about being there on opening night.
My next big event will be the P.
Buckley Moss Society’s second 20th Anniversary “birthday
party,” which will be held at the P.
Buckley Moss Museum in Waynesboro, Virginia, on Friday, June 15.
I’m in Waynesboro this week and may be here all the way through
the birthday party, because my home in Mathews has been infested with
fleas—and I don’t even have pets! Because it’s a rural
area and I’m often traveling, wild animals like to take up residence
under my house, and the result is fleas coming up through the floorboards.
On the bright side, I can visit the Museum almost every day while my
home on the Bay is being treated.
I hope lots of you will be able to join us in Waynesboro next Friday
for an evening of fun and camaraderie. There will be silent and live
auctions—I must warn you the bidding can be very competitive,
but good-natured—and gift bags that can be purchased for $20.
The gift bags each contain certificates and goodies worth at least $20,
but usually more. One of the bags will contain a coupon for a framed,
miniature original watercolor! The gift bags at the birthday party in
Des Moines, Iowa, in April were a tremendous hit and were snapped up
within a few minutes.
After the birthday party, I’ll be headed to Cortona, Italy, for
a couple weeks of etching with my daughter Becky.
Pat’s granddaughter Chiara Gabellieri shares Pat’s love
of horses. This past weekend, she won a blue ribbon at a 4-H horseshow
in Bridgewater, Virginia.