In these politically charged times, I know I am walking on eggshells. But, politics aside, I am remembering Mrs. Cowan, a very dear friend to us and our communities.
A holiday season never goes by without thinking of this very special person. We see, still, long after her passing, reminders of her presence. We share those memories with others, and still can laugh and tell stories about what it was like when Mrs. Cowan walked into a room. You just never knew!
The other day I was checking in at Good 'n You service station with Ron Babcock and noticed Greg Bond at one of the pumps. Greg, as many people know, worked with Mrs. Cowan for a long time. He and Doug Fraher managed her plantings and helped to produce some of the most beautiful gardens which she was always happy to share.
I said hi to Greg and we chatted briefly, but not without mentioning memories and conversations at Fort Cowan. Conversations, in fact, that we still have. Quite frequently, we both admitted, we hear Mrs. Cowan's comments on any number of subjects. She was never reluctant to share her point of view. This week's photo, however, is an exception.
Mrs. Cowan asked me to photograph a fundraiser at the Colony in Kennebunkport. To the best of my knowledge, I never declined one of her requests. Part of the event was a “grip and grin” with President Bush. This was in 1996. I made my usual unobtrusive record of the day's unfolding then we got down to business with the President. There were many folks to photograph with Mr. Bush and both he and I were getting a bit weary toward the end of it. Enter Mrs. Cowan.
It was perhaps the worst photograph I made at the event and certainly one of the least flattering of Mrs. Cowan. I made some goofy remark and we all came unglued. It was the only photograph I made of her and the President alone together, and she never let me forget it.
But, in her true philanthropic fashion she ordered five prints. God only knows what she did with them, and I was afraid to ask.