Michael Milan, Atlanta, GA

I have known and considered Anne and Dave to be dear friends for nearly 40 years. At the time of this writing it has been four month since Anne’s death, and I still find it difficult to accept her loss and put into words my thoughts of a world without her, given her many contributions. Our friendship began here in Atlanta and then ranged from the northeast to the southwest corners of the country as we regularly shared three or four week-long visits over the following years. Anne was central to our ability to sustain our long-distance friendship. Her warm greetings, her generous hospitality, her joyful companionship, and, yes, her embrace of the eccentricities and peculiarities of others (mine included) made it clear that she treasured such friendships. But that was just Anne being Anne, and only a few of the reasons she was such a special person to all who knew her.

As we all know, Anne delighted in the works of that fellow William Shakespeare. I did not share her admiration of his writings and evaded opportunities to attend performances of his plays. Blame a faulty high school and university education? My last visit with Anne and Dave was at Blue Mountain Lake a few short months before her death. Anne was in the process of producing and directing the performances of “The Merry Wives of Windsor” that she had abbreviated/rewritten to meet time constraints. And both Anne and Dave were also members of the cast. So, not a performance that could be evaded. But I was shocked! Shocked! I actually enjoyed the play, and then I enjoyed it a second time. Anne’s artistic abilities as a writer, producer, director and performer were clear. My Shakespeare resistance had lessened, so much so in fact that when Dave visited here in Atlanta after Anne’s death I joined him to see the Shakespeare Tavern Playhouse’s performance of “Twelfth Night” and enjoyed it greatly as well. No more evasions of such opportunities.

Anne’s artistic abilities were not limited to the theatrical domain. Indeed, I think dramatics were a very strong second suite to the fine arts. Anne most certainly excelled as a fine arts artist of exceptional creativity and skill. Although she practiced her art across several media, I admire most her abstract, expressionist paintings. I am fortunate to have three of Anne’s paintings, one very large and two of a somewhat smaller size. I cannot evaluate the formal qualities of her works. Again, a faulty high school and university education? But I can appreciate the feelings they engender as I look at them, the longer the more so. I spent a bit of time in contemplation looking at one before I moved on to write this paragraph. As I look at her paintings, a smile comes to my face. I become more aware of my breathing. I feel myself relaxing and I find I have an increased sense of well-being. The painting somehow becomes more real (alive?) as I am drawn into it. And now the pleasure of looking at Anne’s paintings includes tinges of nostalgia for a past with her that is not be experienced again. I hope that nostalgia never passes.

My remembrances are only hints of the many ways Anne has influenced and benefited others. By all accounts, she was an outstanding teacher who passed on to her students the skills of her profession and, perhaps most importantly, the humane, humanistic values she held and practiced throughout her life. One hopes and expects that her students will do the same. Anne leaves behind artistic creations that will be appreciated and enjoyed over time by many more people than those who knew her personally. A legacy to be envied. And those who did know Anne personally are so much better, as am I, for having known someone so in love with life, with her friends, with her partner and, yes, with her dogs. Dave’s writings and those of others on this website make it clear that this love was, and is, reciprocated. Thank you, Anne, for being such a remarkable woman.