Mary T. and I went to see the "Face of Humanity" a Retrospect of
Ann Wallen's work on a Saturday afternoon in celebration of her
life. Annie's pictures, poems and quotes were everywhere. It seemed
to me to be more about the power of friendship than the art of any
Ann lived by many mottos: "Seek to make your life long and its
purpose in the service of your people" (Chief Tecumseh, Shawnees
Nation 1768-1813). "Expect the worst. Hope for the best and take
whatever comes." (Her own) and a verse "Some time has
passed since I have heard your voice or watched the gradual drawing
of your smile. Yet time seems never to erase your shadow on the
back drop of my heart." (Perhaps hers as well.)
Her friendship with Gail Weymouth helped to build the library
collection and activities. She spend many many days, sometimes six
days a week, there to help. The existence of the library made the
formation of the Killington Arts Guild possible-gave it a room for
meetings and a center for its activities.
For 12+ years Ann served as KAG president. Her friendships
within the KAG membership produced a poetry book and laid the
foundation for a gallery when the Millers offered space.
She was my best friend and everyone's best friend. Those
friendships had power, they were constructive and uplifting. Laura
Wilder with Ann started Ars Poetica and Ann started Annie's
Painting to encourage everyone to learn how to paint or to paint
better. Laura is continuing to lead both the poetry and the
painting-friendship, friendship, friendship, bonding and building -
What a gift!
On the night of the Retrospect, after sharing a potluck supper and
listening to the Pot Luck Trio in a big white tent, associates,
friends and admirers gather in the field behind the library to send
off lighted balloons in honor of Ann Wallen.
Mary T. struggled with her balloon briefly, holding it up while
the candle filled it with hot air and then it rose. We were a field
full of friends in the warm late summer evening, laughing, singing
and lighting the balloons which rose reluctantly one by one into
the night sky - to send Annie on her way-it was
Photo by Betty A. Little
Mary T. holds up a balloon as a candle below fills it with hot
air lifting it into the night sky.