It’s as if she knew you were coming. “Darling, I was just thinking of you!”
Whether she was or wasn’t, it didn’t matter. You just received one of many styles of a Barbara Rowell welcome. She is the master in making people feel appreciated. The reason she is so successful at this is because she genuinely appreciates. She offers help and asks for it just as freely. She laughs when you’re only marginally funny. She shares information about the theatre, her friends, and her family with such pride that you feel like one of a privileged few to be hearing this. She tests you, trusts you, and she loves you.
Barbara died November 18th.
Stories will be told. Tears will be shed. There are many who will give testimony of the impact Barbara has had in their lives. There will be anecdotes from hundreds of people she met in life or whom she guided through (and out of) the doors of QCLT and QCT. There will be the words of those remaining silent. Silent because of a heartbroken lack of “just the right words” to say, or silent out of a late-onset reverence. All in all, stories of love.
To her family, the best we can say is, “Thank you!” We understand that with your sharing came sacrifices.
To her friends, we say, “Aren’t we are the luckiest!”
To the theatre world, we applaud her commitment to the role and how much better we are because of it.
To a building of steel, glass, and concrete block; what a privilege to be the keeper of the stories! To all the storytellers, and to all the listeners, artists and students please know we are here because of her.
And to a bird’s eye view, we have the fortune of living where theatre arts appreciation and education is woven into the fabric of our community. Schools have benefitted. Our economy has benefitted. Lives have benefitted.
No doubt, she knew you were coming. “She was just thinking of you.”
Thank you, Barb!