Thursday, February 11, 2010

Faithful Friends

Faithful friends who are dear to us!
by Charlie Leck

This is one of my favorite photos among all the thousands of photographs we have posted in photo albums, stashed in drawers, crushed into boxes and hung on the walls of our home and other buildings around the farm. I have wanted to write about this photograph for a long time, but I'd lost track of it and I've been unable to scan it and download it for you. Strange how we stumble on to things, isn't it. I was searching for another photo this morning (posted at the end of this blog) because a friend wanted a copy of it to frame and hang in his home. While looking, I stumbled upon this dear photograph and my entire morning and my whole spirit was lifted to the joyous level.

I've always called the photograph "Faithful Friends." The two lovely ladies are Elise and Lisa. That will do for names, but many of my readers will recognize these two girls and will be able to paste more information about them into this blog. I count them among the kindest, loveliest and most faithful friends that we have ever had and we will be forever grateful to them for being so loyal and committed to our friendship.

In the little play act we conducted so many times over a number of years they fulfilled the role of servants and staff to us. In our hearts they were never that, however. They were just buds along for the ride and we had so much fun and so many laughs with them. Had it not been for them we would not have been able to go off on very many of the great adventures we pursued.

To make us sparkle and look splendid and dashing when the curtain rose, these two worked feverishly and, often, from before sunrise to long after sunset. To them, the princess and her carriage and horses needed to be as perfect as humanly possible. I was often dazzled by their performances in supporting roles and knew in my heart that they were stars of each and every one of our little plays.

The photograph at the head of this blog shows them sitting on the groom's seat of our wonderful Park Drag carriage. We're on the driveway leading from Newport Country Club, out along the Atlantic Ocean in Rhode Island. They took us to places like this for well over twenty years.

They'd drive trucks, muck out horse stalls, polish leather and turnout horses as beautifully as anyone ever has. It never seemed like a chore to them and I never heard them gripe about their schedules and responsibilities, as the workers in other parties always seemed to be doing. They often slept in uncomfortable beds in less than splendid rooms. When they did, they'd laugh and joke about it.

At the end of each of our little voyages and make believe adventures, they'd always be exhausted; and so they should have been considering the effort they had put forth so that we could reap the praise and rewards. What we paid them was a pittance compared to what they deserved. What they gave us was far more treasured by us than they will ever know.

We love them dearly -- even as members of our own family -- and we count them among the most beautiful people we have ever met.

Dear and faithful friends, after so many wonderful years, we thank you from the bottom of our hearts.

The two photos below were taken by Bob Mischka, an extraordinary photographer of carriages and horse drawn activities.
See Bob Mischka Sports Photography!

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