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Award winning 'fine' artist, Elton John fan, Granny
- My grandson picked the cover of my book “Exit Signs.” The publisher sent me the proofs while I was visiting Alexander in Denver last summer. I showed him the five options and he immediately picked number four, which turned out to be the cover. Of course, at the age of 7, he hasn’t read the book, but had a definite opinion. I asked him why he chose that one. “Well, Granny, they look fancy on that one. Don’t you want them to look fancy?” Yes, Alexander, yes I do.
- I won a $150 gold and diamond watch when I was in 8th grade for decorating a turkey drumstick to look like Batman. It was a big deal, earning me a whole paragraph of coverage in the student newspaper, where they referred to me as “Pat,” a name I have never liked for myself. I envisioned a great career in the arts, but, alas, that was the last recognition I snared in the field. I still have the watch. I’ve probably worn it five times. Today nobody even wears watches, and certainly not dainty little women’s watches with gold sculpted leaves and diamond chips.
- When I was a kid, Paul McCartney was my favorite Beatle, but I said it was George Harrison because Paul seemed too cliché. I actually thought that picking George made me unique. Yes, I was the ONLY George Harrison fan ever. Quite the renegade. Strange what thoughts kids concoct. My main character in “Exit Signs” would prefer John Lennon. She would appreciate his sense of humor and his post-Beatle work, I think.
- I interviewed Mother Teresa when she opened a charity mission in Gallup, New Mexico. Though I wasn’t Catholic, I felt an aura of peace and spirituality around her. I sat next to her at a little table in the Gallup Bishop’s backyard along with about five other reporters. It is my one brush with greatness. I was working as a correspondent for the Albuquerque Journal at the time. That is something Tracy Price in “Exit Signs” would have done. She’s a documentary film researcher and a native of New Mexico. I’m a Michigander, but I’ve lived in the Land of Enchantment for, oh, let’s just say years and years.
- In March I will see Elton John for the third time. The first time, I was 19 years old and a freshman at Michigan State University. Elton was into his glam rock era, lots of sparkles and big round glasses. About 10 years ago I saw him again in Albuquerque and it was like time traveling. Some people sitting near us had one second row seat, which they allowed everybody in the row to use, so I heard Elton play “I Guess That’s Why They Call it the Blues,” from close enough that I could see the hairs on the back of his hands. I never really liked that song before, but now it’s one of my favorites. I’ll see him again in March here in Albuquerque, but even though we bought tickets within moments of the sale beginning, we’re nowhere near the stage. Still, hearing him play “Tiny Dancer,” “Rocket Man,” and “Your Song,” well you can’t beat that. I hate to say how many years