Thursday, September 17, 2009

Making It In Vermont - Jay Hathaway

I usually wait to calm down before I write on an awful subject, but the tears are still in my eyes. Vermont has lost it's main mover and shaker in our cultural affairs.

Jay Hathaway was a man who did what he said he would. If he weren't, the many things he's done would never be.

I met him three times. The first in a two hour bar conversation in Montpelier during the Art of Action doings in January. And later again in Montpelier at a VAC meeting. The last time was in Richmond a couple of weeks ago where we both, along with everyone else in attendance, were over the moon about the display of AOA art that was spread across the sunlight-dappled wood of the Monitor barn. We just hugged and grinned at each other.

It was in the Montpelier bar that I first heard about his slogan idea that titles this post. He was so excited about the double entendre of scrabbling to get by AND creating anything in Vermont.

His enthusiasm was infectious--like a master teacher. And his subject was Vermont, Manchester, the arts--at any given time in any given order. And he did make it in Vermont.

It is the rare person who can mark me as soon and as deeply as Jay Hathaway did. I cried this morning as if I'd loved him my whole life. This is a terrible loss for Vermont and the arts.