A foundation of generosity…


Summer is slipping past us. At Storyknife, we’ve been hosting a new writer in residence each month. In June, Mairéad Byrne stayed in the Frederica cabin and drafted new poetry. July found Megan Donnelly there writing up a storm. Bea Chang drove up the Al-Can from Seattle for her residency in August. We have one more residency in September with Ruby Hansen Murray.

Needless to say, Dana and I have been busy. In addition to residents, we’ve been working with the folks who surveyed and staked out the building pads for the main house and the six cabins. Today, they are starting to put the driveway in and the infrastructure so that we can build next year. We’ve been writing grants and raising funds.

We are still glowing about the generosity of all people who donated to make Eva’s House a reality. After the fundraiser closed, we received a check in the mail from Thomas Clarke, a childhood friend of Eva’s. He understood that the donation-matching was over, but wanted to add his contribution to help in any way. We were so touched that we reached out to Thomas and his mother Sylvia to find out more about their connection with Eva.

Thomas wrote, “Eva and I attended school together, from kindergarten through graduating from Silver Creek Central High in 1981 together.  I cannot remember not knowing her!” He recounted that she was independent, thoughtful, unconventional, intelligent, nonconformist. This certainly sounds like the Eva we knew as an adult. He concluded, “Eva valued the old European values of family, honesty, loyalty and respect for others taught by her parents through the way they lived.”

Sylvia Clarke, Thomas’s mother, was good friends with Eva’s mother, Asja. She recalled, “Eva came back to Silver Creek to do a reading in our local library from one of her books.  I contacted the high school librarian who arranged for Eva to lecture to the creative writing classes while she was here.  We made a beautiful display of her works in the school library. The students loved her.  The evening reading in the public library was well attended.” Eva’s friends know of her enjoyment of making traditional Latvian bread. Sylvia wrote, “I learned to make their Latvian black bread with them (Eva and her sister, Mara) in their Mom’s kitchen.  Asja would always say ‘knead it harder, longer’ to Eva, Mara & me.  Their father said, ‘No one will need braces;  the black bread will make strong, straight teeth.’”

We hope that Eva’s spirit of generosity and respect for others will live on in the main house dedicated to her memory. Thank you Thomas for donating towards building it and to the one-hundred and ten other people who donated as well. And a most sincere thank you, again, to Peggy Shumaker and Joe Usibelli for donating $2 for every $1 raised in that campaign. Because of the vision and benevolence of all you, Storyknife is moving forward.

We still have a ways to go, so if you want to join the amazing people listed on our “Support” page, please feel free to donate through Paypal or send a check. Even though summer is slipping through our hands, the foundation we’re building for Storyknife is solid, and we need your help!

PS. YES! That is earth-moving equipment on the Storyknife lot!!!!

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