Here are some reflections about Anne on my year at Tyler School of Art’s Rome campus. On the second entry, 9/28/69, I wrote, “Just got back from the bar where I was making small talk with a few girls who are graduate students in Rome.” That was the first night on the Raffaello sailing from NYC. On 10/29, I say “Anne and I are becoming very chummy.” So those were the very first notes about your remarkable Anne.
She was a dear friend and mentor in Rome and the following year in Philly, a talented painter with a flair for the dramatic who amused me. One time she even poisoned me by serving buttered toast at her apartment. The butter had set on the windowsill in the sun and become rancid, so I got food poisoning! When my best high school chum Sam came to visit during Christmas break, we got drunk with Anne, bought a tree in Piazza Navona, and lugged it back to Anne’s palatial apartment, staggering all the way.
On one adventure when Anne and I took a freighter from Brindisi to Greece and then flew to Crete, Anne was the only woman on the ship, and she played it to the hilt! Wearing tight bell bottoms and equally tight sweater, she parted waves through the Greek merchant sailors, posing and teasing, knowing full well I was the one who had to protect her on this overnight trek. I convinced her that we should lock ourselves in our cabin, and we spent much of the night reading aloud “Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead” in full dramatic fashion. (Note from Dave: R&G are Dead was Anne’s favorite play.)
When the year in Rome was over, we hitchhiked to Florence and then parted ways, Anne to head back to the states, and I to travel for another 6 weeks. One final memory was going to dinner at her parents’ home in Ambler during our year back at Tyler/Philly. Anne had improvised a studio in the basement, so after dinner we went down to view her recent painting. For dramatic effect, she dropped a record on the player: As she unveiled her gigantic canvas, Debussy’s “La Mer” surged and pulsed from the speakers. Only Anne could pull that off.
My thoughts are with you this holiday season and I hope 2018 is kind to you.
Complementary notes from Dave Myers:
Regarding spoiled food: The rancid butter anecdote reminds me of something on Anne’s and my first date. In June 1977, I drove up from Macon, GA, where I was living, to Atlanta to take Anne to an Emerson, Lake, and Palmer concert at The Omni. When I arrived, I asked Anne if she had eaten; I had not had an evening meal. She said she had snacked, and invited me to look in her refrigerator for a covered sauce pan that had some homemade caponata. I located the pan in the back of the fridge. When I removed the lid, the moldy contents were about a week’s growth shy of actually lifting the lid off the pan. It was at least a decade before I would try her homemade caponata, and it was good when fresh.
Regarding the vixen in Anne: Later in the summer of 1977, I would accompany Anne to my first art show opening. I said I didn’t really know what to wear, and I asked her what she was wearing. She responded while batting her eyelashes, “I don’t know, but it will be something slinky,” a real boost for my self-confidence early in our relationship, not.