it was summer of 1995. Sally Kemp calld to invite me to dinner. "there's someone I want you to meet." that someone was Bernique Longley & Sally's intuition that we'd like each other was correct.
Bernique was a painter who lived on Camino Monte Del Sol next door to Laura Gilpin who had photographd her. she'd been in town long enough to have gone to parties at Witter Bynner's house & to know where all the skeletons were. she gave the most exquisite dinner parties & told some of the dirtiest -- & funniest -- stories I've heard.
but much too soon she was diagnosd with cancer. she calld a few of her closest friends to accompany her to hospital in feb of 1999. we all knew she'd never return home. I visitd her almost every morning reading poetry to her & brushing her hair. Bernique was one of Santa Fe's legendary beauties & always lookd her best. she may not have had on some of her dazzling jewelry collection while in the hospital bed but she still lookd regal. in late mar I went off to Ohio to visit my parents. while there I got a call from Sidney Coates that Bernique had died. I lost one of my earliest & dearest friends in town.
today is Bernique's birthday. I miss her. altho best known as a painter here is one of her little goddess pieces: