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Frida, Remembering

An acquaintance, Director of the Washington Performing Arts Society, came to me years ago asking if I would chair his benefit to raise funds for music in public schools. I am not really musical, but that sounded like a nice plan for our schools.

The benefit would be be a concert to be given by the Bath Festival Orchestra at Constitution Hall (obviously before the days of the Kennedy Center).

British Ambassador Patrick Dean and Lady Dean were the Honorary Patrons of the event, hosting a champagne party at the Embassy after the concert. Better yet, because parties at that Embassy are always great affairs. I accepted this good offer, honored to have been chosen Chair.

Later on I was given a blank dummy program to fill in, but had no idea how to describe the music to be played at "my" concert. Oh well, just another job to do. I found an old program and plagiarized its comments on the pieces played, just hoping they would sound as they had in (was it Philly?) a few days earlier. I got by.

We invited Christine and Roger Stevens to join us in our glamorous box, they having just moved to DC. He was known here as the Broadway producer who owned the Empire State Building who had come to run the Kennedy Center just being built.

They were delightful, but I really felt strange when he leaned over and asked me, "Isn’t it fun to look out over your audience?" as he did at his New York productions.

Later when I stood in line with the British Ambassador and Lady Dean, receiving our guests at our after-party, I was surprised to learn that the elegant British butler announcing the guests to us was also named Dean.

Life was never dull. There are always ups and downs, but I have enjoyed living to the full during all these 94 years, and remembering...

Frida Burling - 2010 ..