We now live in northern Delaware, a short distance from my aunt and uncle’s house off Harvey Road in Arden where we first met Enid, on display–for there was authentic pride in her–as future bride of my cousin Gene. But scheduling complexities then ensued. Rodelle and I were to be married on June 6, 1954. We were away on our wedding trip when Enid and Gene were married the following Sunday. We next saw them, again, in Arden, at a reception following their own honeymoon.
Distances intervened. We lived two hundred miles, and five hours’ drive, away from Wallingford, as I remained professoring at Penn State, equally inaccessible from all directions. Still, over the years, we observed Enid mature creatively as artist from painting into print-making and book-making; and early on, when Rodelle’s mother and father relocated from house to apartment in Philadelphia, we visited Enid and Gene at Sykes Lane and bought a large Enid Mark as a relocation gift for Rodelle’s parents. In time we inherited it back, and it has primacy of place at the head of the stairs in our Delaware home.
Because of the miles, our intersections remained rare, but we enjoyed the warmth of Wallingford on each visit, looking in each time at Enid’s busy and changing studio, and following the upward spiral of her art and her reputation. The Special Collections Librarian at Penn State, the late Charley Mann, would show me proudly each new Enid Mark acquisition, as I had a special relationship, and as I traveled about on my own book research, other archivists, discovering my family connection, did much the same. We visited Enid when she was at a care facility recovering from hip replacement surgery; and attended her exhibitions when we could, catching up on her impressive new projects, as with a late show she arranged at Ursinus College..
Our final intersection was at her last public presentation of her work, at the Swarthmore College Library, where it took all of her resources in fortitude to talk about her life in the visual media. At the end she was her own last work of art, a profile in courage.