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.