2001-02-03 / Columnists

From The Artists Studio Rockaway Artists Alliance

By Susan Hartenstein

From The Artists Studio
Rockaway Artists Alliance

How do you properly summarize a life at its close? Do you impeccably record dates of birth and death? Do you carefully research schooling, marriages, children, careers and hobbies and denote them with precision? One might think so. Or perhaps not. I think the true accuracy of our lives is recorded by how we touch each other’s souls. How we make each other better and teach each other to see more clearly. Carolyn Bennett, a member of the RAA family, died two weeks ago. We loved this dear, giving woman very much. Her good friend, Joan Vogel, wrote a letter to Carolyn’s children. No better way exists for me to express Carolyn’s life than to share with you her friend’s words.

To Carolyn,

What can I say about you, dear friend? You were bright, clever, God fearing, giving and forgiving. Kind, thoughtful, caring, brave, gracious, funny and fun loving. Talented (a wonderful performer, writer and artist.)

You loved your family, your church, good music, art and the theatre as well as your many friends (I was lucky enough to be counted among them).

I shall miss you greatly. Although I had moved we still kept in touch. I’m so glad we spent Christmas Eve together and overnight at your home during the week.

My last gift to you was a small pin. It is an angel. May the angels of heaven watch over you. I’ll never forget you.

Love,

Joan

Thank you Joan and Pat for allowing us this insight into your friend and your mother. Carolyn, you touched our lives with sweetness, grace and beauty.

The opening reception for RAA’s "Interior – Exterior" exhibit was a smashing success. Congratulations to Martha Killian for curating such a beautiful show and for the delicious food and attractive decorations. A very special and loving thank you to our RTC friends Apryl Green and Karen O’Shea and to "surprise guests" Albert Green, Marty Tisch, Sal Trento and Joanne Marnick. Together these talented musicians and singers set the toes, fingers and hands of the large crowd tapping, snapping and clapping. sTudio 6 vibrated with the sounds of ballads, standards, show tunes and more. At the end of the afternoon visitors and entertainers alike left delighted and wanting more. Good news! Apryl and Karen will return to sTudio 6 for RAA’s February 24 event, along with any or all "guests." Pianist Michael Finnegan will be there, as will poets like Aaron Zeidman. Have I whetted your appetite? I hope so. Tune into this column for further information about this coming music/art/poetry event to warm a winter’s day.

Did you love Doo-Wop night at Beach Channel High? Fantastic, wasn’t it? You can prolong that harmonic splendor – Saturday night, February 3 starting at 8 p.m. at Patrick’s International Cuisine Restaurant. Among the entertainers at "Comedy Night at Patrick’s" will be the doo-wop group Seaside Enterprise. Remember the great group The Flamingos and their biggest hit, "I Only Have Eyes for You"? RAA board member James McKay was one of the founding members. Well, James and some other talented guys got together nine years ago to form – you guessed it – Seaside Enterprise. One of the members was formerly with The Shells, the first a cappella group to record an LP. Another was a member of The Brooklyn Skylites. Seaside Enterprise now has a CD out called "Revisions." Patrick’s is at 112-16 Rockaway Beach boulevard between Beach 111 and 112 streets. This is a fantastic restaurant you absolutely must visit. You won’t find anything else like it in this neighborhood. Comedy Night will also feature Davie Billingly and Sabrina and the music of Arthur Rollins jr. The prix fix buffet is $12. RSVP for your table.

What was your groundhog doing? Mine was sipping cappuccino and reading "From the Artist’s Studio." Oh, what a clever little fellow he is. Til next time…


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