Feb 12, 2015

Dorothy Chapman Fuqua

For the past 13 years I've visited and thoroughly enjoyed the winter ORCHID EXHIBIT at the Atlanta Botanical Gardens. 

Thanks to the generosity and vision of citizens like Dorothy Chapman Fuqua, people from all over the South have been able to enjoy orchids in the winter in the wonderful setting of the Atlanta Botanical Gardens, in Midtown, near Piedmont Park. 

Yesterday was such a day. It was sunny, my friend, Debbie and I shared the exhibit with two other people. There was ample time and space to wonder in amazement, to look, look again, to photograph, to step in closer and get not one look, but as many as could be enjoyed when experiencing all the shapes, colors and sizes of orchids imaginable. I LOVE ORCHIDS ! ! ! And as long as I am able to I will visit the gardens every year for this exhibit. 

Orchids take me back to Panama, to my childhood, to my parents.  The title poem of my MFA Master's Thesis, The House of Saturdays, is about my DAD working in his green house in Panama.  He loved his time in the green house,  he took care of each plant like he would a patient. He was careful, precise, gentle, nurturing. We knew of his love, we witnessed his time in the thin veiled structure, the green mesh skirt protecting all the plants. 

Panama was perfect, the sun, the rain, the humidity and our backyard in Altos del Golf, large enough for the structure to be a home within a home. My Mom also loved the orchids. She was a master at display and position when the chosen orchid plant or bloom would come into the house to be shared with all. I think of how their worlds were joined, rural Iowa winters, humid tropical Panama. Their love of orchids an echo of their love for each other, Rogelio Augusto and JoAnn Catherine. 

Orchid Daze 

Yesterday I visited the Atlanta Botanical Gardens for their ORCHID DAZE exhibit and enjoyed the beautiful, the quiet, and the wonderful work of art that Mother Nature creates in the distinct and unique flowers we know as orchids.  

Yesterday was different; while I was there I learned that Dorothy Fuqua, the patron who the orchid center is named after, had recently passed away, complications from pneumonia, she was 93.  From all that I was able to read about her yesterday, she was a remarkable woman.  I am grateful to people like Dorothy Fuqua, for her love of nature and green space and for her commitment in sharing her love with the public.  

In addition to the wonderful Fuqua gift at the Atlanta Botanical Gardens, Dorothy and her late husband, JB Fuqua, endowed the Fuqua School of Business at Duke, the Fuqua Heart Center at Piedmont Hospital and the Fuqua Center for Late Life Depression at Emory.  

Dorothy I will forever be grateful ~ ~ ~ THANKS THANKS THANKS THANKS ! 

Dorothy C. Fuqua