by irene bean

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A Solid Foundation



Not Trying to be Corny

This Little Light of Mine

We Were Once Young

Veni, Vedi, Vinca

U Tube Has a New Star

Packing a 3-Iron

Getting Personal

Welcome Again

Well... Come on in

Christmas Shopping

There's no Substitute

Dressed for Success

Cancun Can-Can

Holy Guacamole

Life can be Crazy

The New Dog

Hurricane Reenie

He Delivers

No Spilt Milk

Naked Fingers


Have Ya Heard the One About?

The Great Caper


Barney's P***S

My New Security System

Stacy & Ann

This afternoon I attended a reading by Ann Patchett, author of Bel Canto, The Magician's Assistant, Taft, The Patron Saint of Liars, and Run. These days she's the darling of literary circles with glorious reviews. She was this year's guest speaker for The Stacy Allen Haines Lecture Series at the nearby University of the South. The father of my three children was Stacy's nephew. Everyone in the family called him Uncle, including me. He was an amazing man, and I continue to enjoy a lovely acquaintance with his family. You will notice every so often at this site a comment left by *Stace* - that's his son.

Per this afternoon's program:
Behind the quiet mien of Stacy Haines lived a great enthusiasm for language, ideas, and the life of the mind... an enthusiasm he joyfully shared with his wife Peggy.

Having discovered Sewanee through their son, who graduated in 1966 with a major in English, Stacy and Peggy moved here when he retired from a career with Sears, Roebuck & Company in Chicago. From the time of their arrival in this community, their home became a place of hospitality for aspiring and accomplished readers and writers.

This series of lectures and readings, funded permanently by gifts in Stacy's memory from his family and friends, and administered by the College Department of English, stands as a natural and proper extension of the man and his interests.

What this fine tribute doesn't entirely capture is that Uncle was one of the most elegant and dignified men I have ever met. He was extraordinarily handsome, too. :) In addition to his gentle and generous nature, his wit was rapier sharp, his smile dazzling, his intellect wielded with humility. Peggy (The Ant) was his match, his equal in all ways. They made a striking couple and supported the university in many venues. They opened their beautiful home to entertain during The Summer Music Festival and also hosted guest conductors. They attended the Sewanee Summer Seminars and opened their home for that as well. Interestingly, without knowing it, I've adopted several of their same interests with my support.

Included in Uncle's Renaissance Man stature, was his very fine athleticism, especially on the tennis courts. He was also game for just about anything else as evidenced with family reunions and adventures at the uber rustic Sugar Creek Resort in the Ozarks. (I'll let Stace elaborate.)

I write so much about this man because I want his son and family to know how much I adored him. There was something magical about Uncle & Ant when they came to town or we went to their town.

One time he visited Kansas City and when he needed a ride to the airport, my husband offered. Several days later an elegantly wrapped package arrived with a lovely piece of Lalique crystal, a swan, as a thank you. I know class canÔÇÖt be bought and that it's not all about money and fancy gifts, but Stacy had it all. He was born with class and lived a life of class. It's befitting that his namesake lectures perpetuate his memory in a very classy fashion, too.

Not to ignore the stellar Ann Patchette - she is incredibly engaging, empowered, witty, and intelligent. She was so very accessible and while she read, her easy personality brought such animation to her words. xoxo


Reenie & Ann


Standing room only!


The Swan :) (I double-checked and I don't know what caused the funky shadow. It's more beautiful in person.)

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