Monday, April 12, 2010

On the Road Again with Roberta

A Special Thank You to George

Most volunteers really want a thank you and nothing more. Our “Cousin George” is a really special man, and there are a number of us who wanted to say a special thank you to George for his mostly anonymous and behind the scenes contributions to this group over the past 4 years since our group was formed. It’s hard to believe that this is our 4th summer, but it is and we’ve made a lot of progress.
I began a quilt for George last fall after seeing his home. He designed and built his beautiful home in the woods a few years ago, and he sleeps in an antique sleigh bed that didn’t have a quilt. Being a quilter, I saw the opportunity to give George something special as a thank you, so I proceeded to build a special quilt just for George, named, appropriately “George’s Quilt”. Now these quilts have a mind of their own. I selected gold treated Japanese fabrics for their deep lustrous beauty, but the quilt decided that some of the fabrics didn’t play nice with the others, so I wound up purchasing about enough fabric for 2 quilts before George’s Quilt was happy. But it is very happy now, and beautiful as well. By the time I finished the quilt, I was struck by its beauty, and of course want one for myself, but there will never be another “George’s Quilt”, as there is no more of this fabric, but a new quilt might take shape using this pattern after I go home. You never know.

I presented George’s quilt to him just before dinner a night or two ago, and he has it all packaged up ready to go home and live its quilt life on his beautiful sleigh bed. I hope that George slips under his quilt every night and thinks fondly of our Lost Colony adventures and knows how loved he is by all of the people whose lives he has touched, not to mention the Lost Colonists themselves who are trying to be found!But I’m not the only one who had a special thank you for George. Andy Powell, Mayor of Bideford, England where the colonists’ ships sailed from, had a special Harry Juniper pitcher created especially for George. This jug is truly a work of art and Harry Juniper, now age 87, is a world-renowned artist, the last of the Bideford potters. Googling Harry’s name will show you a wide variety of his works. Andy commissioned a pitcher for George months ago and Harry finished it and signed it especially for Andy’s visit to the US. On one side is a tribute to George “the most honorable man I know” which Andy means with all of his heart. On another side is the Bideford municipal seal and the Grenville coat of arms. Bideford’s ship, the Kathleen, is shown on the fourth side. On the top of the jug around the neck is the old bridge at Bideford that is still in use. Not only is this an incredible piece of handmade artwork, but an exceptional gift.
Thank you George!