I was barely 17 when I hit Chicago for the first time. It was summer of ’64, and my first experience in the big city away from Horse’s Ass Hallow, a small town in Michigan where I just knew that they rolled up the sidewalks at night. My passion was the ballet. There were wood floors, the barre and like dancers who would worship a kinship as we lived and breathed the artform.

Fast-forward to a recent funeral where I saw that background slipping away. I saw that very first teacher of mine, Christine DuBoulay. She was as elegant in her 80’s as anyone on this earth. After all these years, I was able to tell her that she was a divine woman, and that I would never forget how hard I wanted to work for her, and how much I respected her. It was an inspiration that changed my life. She graciously accepted and remembered me… Funny, she didn’t put me down, tell me how awful I was and that I would always fail, the harrowing words of my parents. And, in the end I respected Ms. Duboulay as a treasure in my life; it works two ways, that respect thing. “Polite People in a Perfect House”