Remembering Anna Jane....

Warm thoughts and regards to all who have come here.


What might we say to Anna Jane, if given the chance,

to express a summary of our shared time with her?

This, perhaps, quietly offered:

“You were so unexpected.”


And what might Anna Jane say, if given the chance,

to express a summary of her shared time with us?

This, perhaps, quietly offered:

“It’s been wonderful. It’s been just enough.”


Glad wishes to our gathered group, and to those we love.


Mark and Mary Lunsford

Dorchester, Massachusetts


March 21, 2021


Hi, Laurie,


Just a note to thank you, and John, and Jenn and her husband, and to all the many contributors of Anna Jane’s memorial book. We most liked the stories and photographs of early Frederick, and Westtown, and Nantucket – Mary and I had a sampling of those across our shared years with Warren and Anna Jane, but they were always “pop up” moments: not coming from any effort to assemble and codify the details of long ago memories. It’s a surprise to us (but only a surprise because we never had reason to think of such things) that others – many others – had those same memories, and held dear to them just as your parents did. Now, thanks to the kind efforts of so many people, a few of those memories belong securely to us. They come to us as little treasures, and we are pleased and honored to have them.


We have friends in Texas (from long ago days when we were all in Ohio) who live in some of the open country between Killeen and Briggs. By a good measure of perseverance and ingenuity, they did manage those oppressively cold days that came to Texas, and lingered, in mid February. I believe that no part of your state was untouched by the abnormal cold that came, not this time from Canada, but from Siberia – rolling through Canada on its way to your Texas doorsteps. The Houston area was often in our news. We thought of you, and imagined that your own perseverance and ingenuity would keep you all tucked safe, and prepared for recovery just as certain-to-be better days ahead arrived to allow for such things. With thoughts of these days, I hope that all is, as I imagine, well with you, Laurie, and with those you love.


In Pearland, TX there is a place called Silverlake, and beside that lake there is a swing that invites one to come, and rest, and linger. It once had a squeak as it moved; perhaps it still does – it would be fine and proper if this is true. Just now, although I have never been there, I am sitting alone on that swing, rocking gently, thinking a little of all who have been there before me. And I am thinking of a Japanese film from the early 1950s by the great director Akira Kurosawa: Ikiru. In several late scenes an old man rocks gently on a swing in a children’s park that he has helped to have constructed. It is snowing. Softly, he sings:


life is brief.
fall in love, maidens
before the crimson bloom
fades from your lips
before the tides of passion
cool within you,
for those of you
who know no tomorrow

life is brief
fall in love, maidens
before his hands
take up his boat
before the flush of his cheeks fades
for those of you
who will never return here

life is brief
fall in love, maidens
before the boat drifts away
on the waves
before the hand resting on your shoulder
becomes frail
for those who will never
be seen here again

life is brief
fall in love, maidens
before the raven tresses
begin to fade
before the flame in your hearts
flicker and die
for those to whom today
will never return


It is a beautiful day here, Laurie – our first full day of the new spring. I sat down just to write a brief thanks. I did not imagine that my thoughts would meander so much as they have. Anna Jane would have found delight in such things.


Glad Spring Wishes to us all.


In friendship,


Mark (and Mary) Lunsford

Dorchester, Massachusetts