A HARD ACT TO FOLLOW
This photo was taken at the official party given in my honor when I left Providence Hospital after a dozen years to take another job across the street. My co-worker Diane came up with this amazing duo who specialized in delivering a personalized tribute to someone. Their in-person presentation was quite a surprise—and pretty remarkable!
First, they requested a color photo of me at work in my office, which Diane provided. They created a large watercolor reproduction of the photo on heavy folded paper. Inside friends and colleagues wrote personal farewell messages to me. They also asked for various stories and anecdotes about my years at the hospital, and from them they composed a lengthy poem. They printed the poem on a narrow folded white page, which they inserted into my hands on the portrait.
They came to the party dressed in their tailored black and white outfits with bow ties and plumes of black feathers in their hair. During their presentation, they held up the portrait card, unrolled the white paper and delivered the poem—sometimes reciting lines, sometimes singing. Some of the stories were heartwarming and others hilarious. I alternately laughed and cried as they made their way through the tribute.
I’d never seen anything like it—and never have again. I wonder if they continued their little business. It surely was very time-consuming, but a truly different angle. I kept the portrait card and poem for years but it was too large to store well. Gradually it became bent and a bit ragged—and I finally discarded it. Having this photo brings back memories of a unique gift!