I’m the one toward the middle, holding the glass of wine. I wish I could put down that glass, at least at night, when the visitors have all left. Still, holding the glass for eternity is better than having that man beside me staring at me every second of every day and night. It’s been over 100 years now, and still he stares.

I am the model and actress Ellen Andrée, or so I thought until 1882. When Auguste painted his last brush stroke of me, on “Le déjeuner des canotiers,” I was terrified. It appeared I’d moved from real life to being stuck in the painting. I tried to call out to Auguste, but I couldn’t move or make a sound. He could obviously see me here. How did he not notice that I was missing from the room where I was modeling? Did he think I’d left the room that quickly? Continue reading “Forever”

Dayton Elementary

My early school years were spent in a wonderful school in the tiny town of Dayton, Virginia. When I started attending there, at the age of six, it contained grades 1-6. Before I left for junior high school, kindergarten had been added. I spent six years in that building, with a class that had little change in population from year to year. For first and second grade, our group was divided into two classrooms. For third through sixth grade, we were all in the same class. About one fourth of our class was composed of old order Mennonites, most of which stopped attending after elementary school. They were not allowed to watch t.v. and had to leave the room whenever we watched anything, which wasn’t often. Continue reading “Dayton Elementary”