May 1, 2015
I am going to try to tell you about a few of the many ways in which you deserve this award and remind me of my childhood friend, Wendy Benton Knaupp.
When I had just met you I read your letter in the newspaper in support of the Native American Spearfishers. The issue had been in the news and I wasn't sure what to make of it until I read your letter. You had actually gone up there to witness what was happening. It was a clear strong letter and I admired you so much for writing it.
I remember the fun times we shared while we volunteered at the Global Express. And some of the weird characters we served. We hadn't realized we were across the street from the Dane County Mental Health facility. I'm sure during that time we were the shops best customers. How we delighted in each new treasure we discovered. I remember those fun times whenever I hear the "Music from the Andes" tunes we used to play in the shop. (They are all on SCUM now.)
I remember being included at several events at your beautiful home on Oneida. I felt honored when Bob invited me to your 50th birthday party. Oh my, what a gala event. The part I shall never forget was that there were so many different kinds of people there--from the wheelers and dealers of Madison to the cleaning lady from next door. And I remember an International Women's Club party. You invited Shanie and Davida in their Hmong costumes and the Ethnic Connection played. You treated each guest as a treasure. It was clear they all adored you.
And I remember in your travels around the world you always brought back a gift for Heather. She has such a wonderful collection of bells from all over, thanks to you. I know you find it amusing that we used some of them as finger puppet stands, but that doesn't make them any less loved! :-)
We've been in breakfast Club together for 19 years this summer. Just think of all the life changes and experiences we've shared during that time! Birthdays, anniversaries, births of grandbabies, weddings, hospitalizations, moves, illnesses, strokes, my Shanie and Davida adventure, your loss of your eye. (I still can't tell which eye it is.) It's been an amazing journey the four of us have shared.
I will always treasure the memory of your serving at Paul's and my crazy 50th wedding anniversary. It never occurred to me before hand that I would need you and Ellyn and Carol, but when the time came I don't know what I would have done without you.
Jane, you have a glow about you. When you interact with others you are so totally focused on the other person. You have a true gift of seeing the light of another's soul. Have you ever met anyone you didn't like? You seem to bring out the best in whomever you're with. It is a beautiful gift you have. Everyone wants to be with you because it is so cheery and warm there. You are so like Wendy in this.
Because of all these reasons, but mostly, for being my wonderful friend, I honor you today.
Wendy Benton Knaupp May Day Award
for Forgotten Kindness
Your Friend Forever,