I told her how the building of the New River Bridge was such big a deal to the people of the area my mom ordered a print of a painting somebody did of it in about 1972 and it hung in our little dining area for years. Before the bridge, it took 45 minutes to go from one side of the gorge to the other. The bridge shortened that trip to 45 seconds. She said, “We go up there every summer and I did a painting of the bridge last year!” and showed me a photo of the painting on her phone. I was amazed and we almost cried together. She bought both the Mom and Virginia books and emailed me a few days later through the website how she was touched by our shared roots.
Last weekend when I was set up with my books and quilts at a local art and craft fair, I knew the Study Club also had a booth to sell their cookbook. I visited there a couple of times, and somehow the 70273 quilt project came up in conversation. I told the lady about it and she got chills. Later, I stopped by and that lady was gone, they manned the table in shifts, but that West Virginia gal was in their booth with another woman. She apparently knew I was going to be there and she gave me a notecard printed with a painting of a tree with massive roots. She said it was at a campground in Fayette County and I took it back to my booth. Sitting there, I read her extremely nice note and saw it had her name on it. Roots by Brie Shernisky. She had her paintings printed on cards! How cool, I thought.
A little later I was sitting at my booth and a quilting buddy brought the final 70273 XX quilt to me. It was finished perfectly and secure in a bag with the provenance form and other information. I picked it up and walked over to Brie and the other woman I kind of know from different events. I showed them the quilt and told how the woman from the morning wanted to know more. I warned Brie she would cry and told the story of the physically and mentally disabled people who were executed by the Nazis in 1939. And she did cry. They took a picture to remember to tell the lady from the morning about it. (See my post of 8/20/21 to read about that project.) I came back by a little later and gave her a copy of my inspirational fiction book, The Perfect Place.
Brie sent me a FaceBook friend request. I invited her to come to the November Stephenville Music Club meeting and luncheon on 11/9. She said she might stop by for a bit but asked for my address to send another card. I sent her our address and said to just come to the meeting if she could. I suspected what image would be on that card. During the last song of the program, she sneaked in the door. I motioned to come on in and sit. After we dismissed, I went up to her and she hugged me saying I was such an inspiration and that she was loving "The Perfect Place.". Then she took out a long card. I smiled. I knew what it was. The painting of the New River Bridge. I hugged her and said she was so very sweet and I treasure our connection.
Now that painting on a card is on my fridge with magnets from the national park there. I may have to get a canvas picture done so I can hang it in my little dining area just like my mom did 50 years ago. But this time it would have so much meaning for me. Making a friend through a common bond to an obscure area in the Appalachian Mountains over 1200 miles away from where we live is very cool.