What can YOU say in six sentences?
I never knew Jane Stewart so I had to ask, "Is this Jane in the giant bunny costume?" Then there was the photo of Jane in Roadrunner pajamas beside a griddle of pancakes for a group of sticky-faced children, then dressed as a green witch, a colorful clown, in a sweater covered in poinsettias as she read The Night Before Christmas to a rapt audience of four year-olds. There were thirty years of photos to go through, the majority adhesed in thick worn books that looked tired until opened to the light of this profoundly energetic woman who smiled even when the camera was aimed elsewhere. Last night the chosen images played as a slideshow tribute in a ballroom of satin, candles and wine. There were tears as Joy to the World filled the vast room, her favorite song, the very emotion she inspired while leading a school for children no one else wanted. After dessert, speeches and auctions, the Spasmatics played carefree '80s songs that shaved years off the lives of Westview School parents, and the room came to life as the spirit of a lost founder transformed a once common despair into hope enough to dance.
*Jane Stewart lost her battle with ovarian cancer on 11/11/10