Virginia Hall Smith

Virginia Hall Smith

Dear Aulay,

What a pleasant surprise, to hear from you after lo! so many years. The following is, I hope, what you want about me.

After Manumit (!) I went back to New York where I got my Master’s degree at NYU. Then I followed my uncle, Ben Fincke, up to Buxton School in Williamstown, MA, where he was Co-Director, and later Director. I was there for 35 years — 1958-1993.

Buxton is very similar to Manumit: small and caring, with a high degree of interest in the arts. At Buxton I headed up the Drama Department — I was the Drama Department — teaching beginning and advanced acting classes as well as a drama activity; between one and the other, we put on around nine or ten plays of varying lengths and complexity each year. The biggest annual production was the all-school play — yes, all of the nearly 90 students were either, will-y, nill-y, on or back stage or in the orchestra, and we went on the road for a week: to Washington, Quebec, Chicago, Atlanta, Nantucket, etc. Our boldest venture was to Mexico City with A Winter’s Tale, although now leaving the country is a fairly commonplace occurrence for the school.

Also similar to Manumit, we all wore many hats; the dorm for nine years, doing bed check, etc. I typing, published a Newsletter and was in charge college applications.

I lived in the dorm for nine years, doing bed check, etc. I also taught typing, published a newsletter and was in charge of all senior college applications.

In 1963 I bought an old, old, run-down farmhouse in Vermont, a few miles from Williamstown, which I fixed up at the rate
of one room a year: floors, ceilings, etc., etc. I also did a lot of summer stock in and around Williamstown: Dorset and Marlboro and Bennington, Vermont and others.

In the late fall of 1993 (I had retired that June) I returned to my childhood home of Santa Fe, where I took on a great many volunteer jobs: The Wheelwright Museum of the American Indian, the EIDorado Fire and Rescue Station, the Vista Grande Public Library, Theater work, etc. I love theater people, and need them, but also felt I shouldn’t limit my life to them. Hence the variety in my volunteering.

But I did get into theater. As of this writing I have been in nearly 50 shows, the most recent being a sold-out run of The Sound of Music at the local movie house, seating 800. Very well received, and very gratifying to be a part of.

I own my own home in El Dorado, a subdivision of Santa Fe. I have cats (does anyone remember Drambuie?), and wake up each morning to the desert sun streaming in my window, delighted to be alive.