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By Ralph Looney

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Additional resources for O'Keeffe and Me: A Treasured Friendship

Sample text

It was, quite clearly, pure "O'Keeffe country," as we were soon to learn. And appropriately, even the morning was smiling bright sunshine against the sparkling blue sky. Clara and I had no trouble finding her house. We knocked on the gate, its boards weathered to a mellow patina. Above the entry, the white skull of a ram, its curled horns intact, stood guard. Inside, in the patio, two big, woolly blue chows watched us sleepily. Suddenly, O'Keeffe appeared, looking strikingly monastic in a long black wraparound dress set off by a white V-shaped collar.

He told me I'd have to have the kids buy them," she said. ' We wound up in horrible fights over it. It went that way the rest of the year. He'd ask me if I'd ordered it. " And she never surrendered. " Page 26 Eventually, worn out by the battle, she quit to return to school at Columbia University. O'Keeffe, however, had the last laugh in that fight. She was asked to return to Amarillo the following fall; the superintendent was not. But O'Keeffe declined the invitation. "I hadn't painted at all at Amarillo, but at Columbia I started again," she said.

By 1962, I had begun to sell articles and photos to magazines. Naturally, I was always on the lookout for stories. I soon spotted a small newspaper item in the Albuquerque Journal about Georgia O'Keeffe's return home to the northern New Mexico hamlet of Abiquiu following a trip. This sent me to the public library and the Trib's "morgue" files for information on the artist. The little I found was enough to pique my curiosity and convince me there was a good story there. Actually, little had been written about O'Keeffe in recent years.

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