Lois Lowry's Blog
Well I had said that when I was back at my home computer I would look for some photos of Trina Schart Hyman. And I did, and here they are, and need explaining. One is simply of her majestic cat...I think this is the one named Bad Baby...one is simply of Trina withher unforgettable smile. But the third (actually first in line) needs the explanation.
Trina and I had many startling similiarities in our lives. One time, we were to meet at Logan Airport in order to fly together to a conference. She called the night before for final details, and said, "I almost had to cancel. Had an abcessed tooth and had it pulled this morning." I replied: "Tooth 14?" (Dentists have numbers for each tooth) And she said, "Yes! How did you know that?" And I said: "Because I spent this morning at the dentist too. Tooth 14."
But this (photo #1) is equally startling. Separately we had each fallen: she on the rocks while visting friends on the coast of Maine; me tripping on some steps in a college chapel in Ohio. And both of us ended up with colassal shiners, as you can see. I made the WANTED poster for her (the reference to Hawaii is because we had spent time together there once, at a conference) (If you click on it you can see it enlarged)
The funny thing is, if one were to write such coincidences into the plot of a book...the editor would say: SERIOUS CREDIBILITY PROBLEMS. But truth is certainly stranger than fiction.
I wrote her a poem for her bithday shortly after the abcessed-tooth episode (and also not long after she had a mastectomy (references to both in the poem) and I'll print it here:
Bang the drums and tambourina!
Blow the flutes and ocarina!
Dancers á la Balanchina!
Bring them in by limousina!
Let's feast! We need an aubergina!
Soufflé! Glacé! Trout almandina!
And fruit as well! Some tangerina!
Apples, grapes, and nectarina!
Vices: liquor! Nicotina!
Pink champagne! Amphetamina!
Chocolate bars and jellybeana!
Nougats, toffee, sweet pralina!
Dress her in mink and black sateena—
Diamonds! Emeralds! Aquamarina!
Nothing is too good for Trina!
(screw the breast, and tooth fourteena!)
And how I wish she had had many, many more birthdays. But is has been fun taking this little trip down memory lane and I hope there are a number of you out there who admired Trina and her work. I would say "Rest in Peace" but in truth I would rather think of her cavorting somewhere, making some sort of celestial mischief...hardly peaceful.