The fact that this was pulled off without my foreknowledge is pretty surprising too. The fact that Bill was in on it blows me away; I never suspected because he doesn't like surprise parties! (The get together should’ve been as much for his birthday as mine - and perhaps it was and he doesn't know it. Gotta love that guy.)
It was so totally orchestrated. We walked into the gallery - I was still a little annoyed at Bill and Shauna’s nonchalance at getting there because, after all, the gallery closed at 5:00 pm and he went shopping at 3:30 and she insisted that we had time for tea and showed no sign of moving. I was anxious because Mac and Beth Hone's retrospective was one of the reasons that we had come to the city. Eventually I had walked over to the grocery store to “get things moving”.
The first thing that I saw after coming through the door was Beth all dressed fancy - I thought maybe the group with which she was allegedly rehearsing in the afternoon had needed photos. A couple of acquaintances were wandering the gallery which was not surprising because I would expect to know people who wanted to see Mac and Beth's work. I did think it odd that there was a bar set up at one end and a table with nibbles on it - but brushed that off as "galleries have the right to do what they want". Beth wouldn't let me hang up my own coat - but then people started appearing - from behind corners and behind dividers, Regina friends, Saskatoon friends, everywhere friends! Allison, Ken, Catherine from Regina Friends. There was Rob and Phil and Karen from Saskatoon! Bernadette and Glen from Daystar! Janice and Marge from up our way! Jim, Will and Brenna, Avery and Ethan appeared. And more.... What is this? I had to scrinch my eyes closed to take it all in.
I was over the top! Someone had to force me to look because I didn’t think that I had room to go when Ev, Don, Betty, Kelly and Denise showed up!
My head was swirling. I'd spoken with some of these people recently - even invited Marge to join us for dinner and she had excused herself for a meditative retreat. Invited my family ages ago but they were all busy or seemed to be. Nobody really lied - Denise simply told me that Marika was competing in Winnipeg and I assumed that she was going to be there. Betty and I had conversed but a lot of it was about sister Heather's lucky cardioversion for which we were grateful. (Although Shauna might have lied when she implied that she was getting on a plane to go to Regina on Friday evening when she was already in Regina!)
The setting was lovely - a far cry from the little restaurant in which I was expecting to meet Jim and Jan for a cosy family supper. Amongst pictures and pottery of artists that we knew and had known, gracious hosts at the Slate Gallery, chairs were gathered and a slide show presented using archived pics from our collection. Very well done even if they couldn’t ask the one person who might have known the dates! (I have a few corrections.) Letters were read - thanks to all who took the time to write - I had no idea how many addresses Beth ripped out of my computer!
Beth also arranged for a yoga class the next morning in the basement of the Unitarian Centre - Will held up the testosterone side for you guys - followed by a very nervous me doing a talk at the service that morning. (Very nervous because I hadn’t had a moment to review what i was going to say and I had family in the audience - how is that for pressure!)
Leisurely lunch/brunch at the La Bodega. We saw Betty, Kelly, Don and Denise off at the airport - in spite of the lack of security they all boarded, Don didn’t even check their luggage! They would land at Shoal Lake to leave Denise and hopefully arrive home before dark.
That was such a lovely celebration and a roast that I won't need a funeral!