It had to be about 25 years ago, a (soon to be lifelong) friend stopped in to see my new apartment, handed me this A.  I didn’t get it at first, then she says something like: ‘It’s your own place, you need your letter, like Mary!’  She’d gone to some hardware store or home supply (no Home Depot back then), and it was worth the trip. And it’s been here all these many years, through many apartments, houses, packed and unpacked, in my kitchen.  I’ve thought about moving on from my A in various declutters but I could never quite do it.  Today I remember why.  Mary Tyler Moore as Mary Richards was like no one before, a new kind of every woman: funny, brave, stylish, she had humility, and mostly, she got the job done.  When I moved into that studio apartment upstairs in a big old house, that A was just right.


photo from Mary’s apartment: HookedonHouses

terra wall

And when I searched out that photo of Mary’s wall to make this post and I noticed something I never saw before, or long forgot if I did… Mary’s got one more message for me. Look close and to the right of Mary’s M, in her apartment, and there’s a print of a circus performer, he’s drawn standing on a horse (below).


This print, on a board, hung in my room as a tiny kid, then for years – my dad put it there, and I could never erase this image from my mind.  Maybe Mary and I really did have something in common after all.  Thanks Mary, we’ll be smart to remember what you said –

You’re gonna make it after all.

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