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Pat Shelley at Tanabata in Mary Hill's garden | by jhhymas
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Pat Shelley at Tanabata in Mary Hill's garden

Pat Shelley (1911-1997) was my dear friend, one of the best I've ever had. Even though she was almost as old as my parents, I surprised myself by my reply when someone mentioned that Pat must be like a mother to me. “I feel like her mother,” I answered instantly. And it was true. I felt maternal and protective toward her, and toward her core and vulnerable self that I eventually learned had been so inadequately mothered in her own childhood. And she was a librarian, like I was, and loved many of the same books and objects that I did. Although she always had a lot more class. I think she would have hated me talking about her on the Internet, but I think she was wrong, and it is purely love, and anyway she can't know about it now.

Photo by Mary Hill, I think. Copy from Hill archives.

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Taken on September 11, 2008