Saturday, April 16, 2005

Rick Campbell:
Remembering Andrea

Rick Campbell, director of Anhinga Press, sent along these thoughts about Andrea.

When I met Andrea and came to know her (pretty well, I think, but certainly not as well as Toni and Donna and others) I was often impatient with her and the idea that someone as talented, creative, brilliant, and beautiful as she could not find her way out of the mess of her life. I wanted to think that being smart and talented meant that you/we/I could just find a way to make things work. Maybe I know better now and maybe I would have more patience, more sympathy. Years ago I was impatient and maybe even scared of depressed and destructive people. My mother tried to kill herself when I was young and then had spent some time in a mental institution. When she got out I had to take care of her. When she was better and I was grown up, I think I sort of promised myself not to have to do that again. Then, of course, most of my writer friends drank too much, did too many drugs, plummeted into dark places and seemed to single me out to talk them back to the light. By the time I met Andrea, I was getting tired of the troubles. Perhaps this is to say that I might not have cared for her as well as a good friend should have, but she had friends who did take exquisite care of her, and that too did not work. As Mac said, everyone loved Andrea but Andrea. It's easy to see how that is a problem none of us could have solved. If she could have lived as well as she wrote, what a life it would have been.


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