I want to wish all our friends all over the country and all over the world a very happy Christmas. I heard from my friend Patrick Mongella in Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania, Africa, who escorted me years ago when I was in Dar Es Salaam to visit his mother Madame Mongella who was out on a work mission. Patrick told me that one of the wonderful men of peace, Nelson Mandela, is very ill right now, and our prayers go out to him. Let us give thanks for all the peacemakers and our love to all those who have lost dear ones.
I have lost another very beautiful friend, this time in Pennsylvania. I’ve known him for years and years and watched his children grow. I cried when his wife died, and I was so sad when his son called Monday morning and told me that his father had passed away. Dr. Davis was an OB/GYN and was a lovely man with the most gorgeous head of hair. I think all his patients must have been in love with him. Surely, his friends were. I would be at his funeral if I hadn’t already committed to being at the Museum this weekend signing collectors’ last minute requests. I’ll be there from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. this Saturday (Dec. 22) and from 1:00 to 3:00 p.m. this Sunday (Dec. 23).
My daughter Mary went with me to Bristol and Kingsport, Tennessee, last weekend for my show with Up Against the Wall Gallery. Before going to Tennessee, we visited Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, Virginia, and took a tour of the university’s new Center for the Arts, which is the subject of my print Center for the Arts at Virginia Tech. The building is beautiful, and the stage is enormous. All the seats have a great view of the stage, and there are three stories of balcony seats. I’m so looking forward to attending a performance there. The Center is open to the community, not just the campus, and all will be welcome.
The third in my series of prints and posters for the Bristol Rhythm & Roots Reunion was a hit in Bristol and Kingsport. The Bristol Rhythm & Roots Reunion Committee and Mike Milhorn of Up Against the Wall, who is also a member of the Committee, coordinated an excellent unveiling event for Friday, accompanied by live TV and newspaper interviews. Everyone involved was such fun—there are always fun people around when I show. The gallery was beautiful, and owners Mike and Lisa Anne Milhorn were so gracious and made everything so comfortable for me. It was a wonderful weekend.
Unveiling the new Bristol Rhythm & Roots Reunion Mural Stage Poster with, L. to R., Margaret Feierabend, Bristol, TN, City Councilwoman; Leah Ross, Bristol Rhythm & Roots Reunion Executive Director; me; Guy Odum, Bristol, VA, City Councilman; and Ed Harlow, Bristol, VA, City Councilman.
Unveiling the new Music at the Mural print.
The print and poster generated a lot of excitement, and I was glad to have Bristol Rhythm & Roots Reunion volunteer Sally Bolling sitting beside me while I signed.
A very merry Christmas to all!
2013 Mediterranean Cruise Update
Good day, Society members and friends. The plans for the pre-cruise tours in Rome and the post-cruise tours in Venice are finalized and may be viewed by clicking here. Ada at Stacy’s Travel is anxious to determine the number of participants for both events, so please contact her if you are interested in Rome or Venice or both. There are one- or two-day options for Venice. The Rome tour is two days, but if anyone wishes to participate in only one day, that can be arranged. When you read the post-cruise tour, it may seem a bit “pricey” compared to Rome. Realize, however, that the price includes the cost of your hotel as well as meals, so it really is comparable.
Also, anyone wishing to do the Murano/Burano excursion from the ship on the day that we are docked in Rome, should contact either Ada or me. We will arrange for the Society members to have an “exclusive” excursion if there are sufficient numbers.
Many blessings to you during this beautiful Christmas season, and our motto for 2013 is “See you in Rome!”