Saying goodbye…

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A memorial service for the artist Suzanne Longo is tomorrow morning at ten, at the Beth Israel Synagogue. We’ll be saying goodbye, but all I keep thinking about is the last time we said hello.

I remember that sunny morning because she made me laugh. Gary and I were on our walk, down by the Waterfront Park playground, when she popped out of nowhere. Actually, she popped up from under the bridge to Lady’s Island – a shortcut she cheerily reversed to show the two of us how you can duck under the line of cars waiting for the swing span to close and practically tiptoe over the edge of the Beaufort River.

Normally an artist in her early sixties popping up from under a bridge might startle me, but this was Suzanne Longo. Ever since I met her in the early 90s, she’s been popping up in unexpected places and ways.

I was a rookie reporter just arrived from the West Coast and she was a mysterious artist transplanted from New Orleans. So exotic that she named her gorgeous sons Moon and Star! The occasion was a kerfuffle over one of her sculptures – a bench that prominently featured the mounds of the female form – right across Carteret St. from a church! I don’t know which one of us thought the story was more ridiculous, or funny. Beaufort takes getting used to.

What will be even harder to get used to, is Beaufort without Suzanne.

2 thoughts on “Saying goodbye…

    barbara kelly said:
    October 13, 2011 at 10:53 AM

    Teresa, Thanks for this post. Richard took a wonderful photo of the Longo Gallery a few weeks ago on that photography walk . I’ll have him send it. I have a different story to share with you.


    Darlene Olivo said:
    October 19, 2011 at 3:32 PM

    I lost touch w/ Suzanne and Eric when they moved to SC; we were close friends when they lived in Covington, across Lake Pontchartrain from New Orleans, and I remember Moon and Star when they were small boys. I am so sad to hear that she died–something I learned just this morning from a mutual friend in Louisiana. She was a bright light, a magical woman. I remember how she told me that whenever she wanted to give Eric a hint that she was “in the mood,” so to speak, she left gardenias on his pillow. If you’re have contact w/ Eric, please give him my deepest condolences. I don’t know how to reach him. Thank you for your post.


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