Yesterday, March 4th was the seventh death anniversary of one of the great characters of our community, Lenore Shaw. I, and many, many others, still miss her very much. She was--literally and figuratively--larger than life. "I've got everything everybody else has," she'd announce periodically, "only more of it!"
Lenore entered the community three times--in 1945, left within a couple years--again in 1948, left in 1950--and entered for the third and final time in 1978! Most people think the community had to catch up with Lenore, not the other way around. Lenore was a character of the first degree. During the 28 years between her second and third entrances, she taught for many years in a city public high school--driver's education was her specialty. She would cajole us with story after story of the zany adventures of her friends on the faculty there, as they banded together to cope with the challenges of inner-city teaching in the 60s and 70s. At her large and crowded Irish wake every one of those colleagues (and even some of her former students) came out to pay her tribute and remember their favorite adventure with "Miss Shaw."
Her last outside ministry was at the Second Harvest Food Bank, which was then administered by one of our sisters who was as much fun as Lenore. They say that working with the two of them was like being part of a comedy routine every day. Her final "job" was as community driver, about which she'd exclaim, "If I ever doubted I was going to heaven, I don't now. This is my purgatory!" as she'd roll her eyes every day at the peculiarities of doctor's appts. and changing schedules that would send anyone else over the edge. We told her that she was perfect for the job.
Her annual February contribution to community fun was to organize the annual Super Bowl pool--$1.00 a box, with $25 to the winner of each quarter. If you stopped by our place last month you would have seen this year's chart: The 7th Annual Lenore Shaw Memorial Super Bowl Pool.
And in between Super Bowls we still tell "Lenore stories." We haven't run out of them yet.
From our March Art Show, here is a huge needlepoint by Theresa Zoky, OSB. It contains over 60,000 squares and took her seven years. It is a beauty.