Friday, August 20, 2010

Friday Find: A Wonderful Discovery

Before I blog about the trip to Delaware and New York, I wanted to write about a very special thing that happened after our trip to Florida. If you read my earlier posts, you know that part of that trip was going "home" to Delray Beach. One of the goals I had while down in Delray, was to drive by the beautiful old house, not too far from my own, where I had gone to "nursery school." Back in the day (early 1960's), kindergarten was about the earliest anyone went to school....and often those kindergartens were run by churches, and not part of the elementary school experience. Pre-school really didn't exist....But one woman in Delray Beach was revered by Miss Betty and her friends. She was the fabulous Mrs. Turner, who, out of her own house, ran a nursery school. I don't think we went but once or twice a week, but it gave moms a little time off, and was a great way to meet people, when you were new to the area.

It didn't take me long to find "Mrs. Turner's," although the house had undergone several renovations/restorations in the ensuing 47 years. (47! Ouch, that was painful to say!) A beautiful fence covered the front view of the house, but I got a shot of either side.  The door featured in the second picture is where we would go inside to our "classroom." (I seem to remember being outside most of the morning, though....thanks to South Florida's great year round temps and Mrs. Turner's wise decision making!)

These pictures are from my 4th birthday party in 1963, held at Mrs. Turner's. 
(My friend Phillip is sitting next to me at the head of the table.) 

One of the best parts of my trip to Delray was an amazing luncheon I had with some lovely friends, who are also involved in historic preservation.  When I returned to Richmond, Joann Peart, my former Delray neighbor, sent me some pictures of my mother and father at a party at her house in 1996.  The pics, which I had never seen before (thank you, Joann!!) were enclosed in a beautiful card designed by noted artist, Lois Brezinski.  When I finished walking down memory lane, I looked at the card more carefully.  Something was so familiar about it.....

Paintings courtesy of Lois Brezinkski

It was Mrs. Turner's house!!!  I quickly pulled up the pictures that I had taken, and sure enough....There it was!  What a thrill.....It is going straight into a frame!

I first got to know Lois because we were both volunteering in Delray Beach's historic preservation efforts with the Delray Beach Preservation Trust.  Her work is not centered on historic Delray, however.  She has traveled far and wide and her art is a beautiful representation of the amazing places she has been. You will feel like you are in the Cayman Islands when you visit her website!   When you email her, just tell her that the Classic Preppy sent you! Now, as a very special treat for another Preppy more of Lois' paintings. This is the Caribbean Rooster....just for you, Miss Janice!

PS.  One of the other friends I lunched with in Delray is the amazing Augustus Clemmer Mayhew.  Clemmer writes columns for the Palm Beach Daily News (The Shiny Sheet) and for The New York Social Diary on Palm Beach historic landmarks and other properties, as well as highlighting significant structures (and people) in Delray Beach, Gulfstream, Boca Raton and beyond. He is a wealth of knowledge and a brilliant writer.  You won't want to miss his columns!   Here's one from this week's NYSD.

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