October 15th is always bittersweet for me, my late aunt Hoohoo's birthday. We usually have a frost before mid-October, ending our growing season, but this year, we haven't. I was able to go into my cutting garden and pick this beautiful arrangement of dahlis, zinnias, and a geranium bloom. Above, shot with the flash, every detail is clear and shadows are obvious. The table runner was woven by my dad on a small New England Morgan inkle loom. I was so lucky to have creative people in my family to teach me and encourage me to find my own creative outlets.
The same arrangement, turned around to show the other side. This photo was shot without the flash, but with the exposure time lengthened. Dahlias and zinnias and geraniums, oh my!
On This Day in 1925
October 15, 1925 —Gloria Isabel Sanborn was born to Anita and Charles Sanborn. I called her Hoohoo from the day I met her when I was 3 years old, fresh from Germany where I'd been born at the American Army base in Stuttgart and my only home for the first few years of my life. The story goes when our car arrived in Leete's Island my grandmother called out to her younger daughter and her husband who lived with her in the family home, "Yoohoo, they're here!" Apparently I mistook that as the name of my mother's sister and we immediately "clicked" with her first hug. She was my Hoohoo from that day on.
She and her husband, my dad's brother Bill, never had any children. Yes, two sisters married two brothers and we had a very small family all told. Hoohoo and I were pretty much inseparable and in a few years I would really need that when things went south in my life.
She bought me a pair of silver candelabras for my 6th birthday as I had already been playing the piano for four years by then and we stayed up late weekend nights watching Liberace on TV. She taught me to mix wallpaper paste, to match paint colors to fabrics, to plant daffodil bulbs, to dance the Jitterbug to 78s, how to wrap presents and tie a festive curled bow all by myself. It was understood I would never tell my parents how high the speedometer in her '58 Thunderbird went on the long straightaway between our homes in Leete's Island and Mulberry Point. We laughed like no one else was in the world; when I cried she held me and told me I was her little artist and that we felt everything just a little bit deeper than other people but that everything was going to be alright. We explored every square inch of the 200+ year old family home and acreage around it. We dug for antique bottles and what-have-you in the old gardens. We traced the lines of the old tennis court, overgrown with trees, and pretended to volley balls over the long-gone nets. We found wooden wagon wheels and old family Ford and Buick artifacts in the barn destroyed in the great '38 hurricane. We were thick as honest thieves.
She saw me excel in grade school, stumble in junior high, and graduate from high school and Vassar. She gave me her last Tbird, the powder blue '64, but her hourglass was running down. Her last ten years were spent battling cancer in almost every part of her body. I still have every letter she wrote me, every card she drew for me, every gift she gave me, including the envelopes. I even still have all those thing I gave HER as I got my gift of "saving things" from her.
I'm now a year older than she was when she died in '82, taken way too soon from all of us. So many things would have been different in my life had she lived, so many paths would not have been taken, but in the past few years I've been slowly becoming again the person she knew and loved. My demons will always be there. My past will always haunt me. I will always feel everything just a little bit deeper, but I also have a feeling everything will be alright. Hoohoo's little artist will make her proud.
Happy Birthday Hoohoo. RIP