Silver Fox - by Nicole Stewart
I found this mid-century portrait at Buchanan's Market years ago. It features a stunning older woman drawn in charcoal. I was drawn to the sense of wisdom and calm she possesses.
Master storyteller Nicole Stewart, chose her for a subject. If you love a good yarn, you must attend her series, Oral Fixation, which features true, local stories on a theme. the podcast and Youtube channel are also awesome, if you miss the show.
"My name is Dorothy Ann Perkins. My dear husband Richard had this portrait done of me a few years ago when I was at age of 67. He just loves my silver hair. As a matter of fact, he calls me his Silver Fox. That’s what he whispers to me when we tango, “How you seduce me, Silver Fox.” We live in a tiny town in New Hampshire called Sweeney. Richard is a retired professor. Since the kids had kids of their own, I began to occupy my time with bridge games, doubles tennis, charity luncheons, and of course, gardening. Neither of us can wait for our Tuesday night tango class. We simply adore Pablo, our instructor. He taught me how to find my hips! And after finding our rhythm in the studio, Richard can’t seem to keep his hands off me at home. Who knew the Y had such grade-A class offerings?
I grew up in Sweeney. For as long as anyone can remember, my family has owned and operated the large mill just outside town. My granddaddy then my daddy then my brother Pat. Richard and Pat don’t see eye to eye on pretty much anything. Richard flat out doesn’t respect the way Pat runs the family business. It’s hard for me to as well. You see, the dividends I earn from my ownership of the mill sent our girls to college. And they made our retirement possible. But that was back before that heart attack killed Daddy. Now, according to Richard’s judgement of Pat’s actions, Pat’s mishandling of the business caused our annual income to plummet the last two years. And Richard’s started worrying about money.
I find myself drinking a lot of wine in the evenings. Did you know I am just now discovering the healing power of a wonderful crisp cold chardonnay? The bite in that first sip clears the cobwebs. I know Richard is insecure but I can’t talk to him about it. He thinks its his job to manage our money. I’ve sometimes wished he’d taken more initiative in bringing it in himself over the years. But we all made peace with the fact that my family money would carry us through and it has. And it will. This is just a rough patch. So I smile, so I sip."