My Aunt Gail Sigford died May 5, 2006, at the age of 85 years (and 1/2, as she would be quick to say). For her memorial service, I unpacked and displayed the pieces of the creche set that she carved with us in the winter of 1955. Well, I say that she carved them with us, but she actually carved Mary, Joseph, the Babe, cow and donkey as shown here. My husband and I worked on the remainder of the set which included two more kings, a couple of angels, a shepard, and some sheep, but none of them were as artistically finished as these that my Aunt Gail made for us. For the past 54 years, set comes out of its box every Christmas and has its place of honor on the antique table near the front door.
Gail was my name sake Auntie and had a powerful impact on me as I was growing up. She was an artist, a thinker, and an untamed spirit. I loved hearing her tell tales of places she had been, and things she had done. All of the family especially loved to hear her tales of her days in the WASP (Women's Airforce Service Pilots). She graduated from the last class of the WASP, December 7, 1944. I think that she always felt wistful that she never got the opportunity to fly as a full-fledged WASP.
In addition to her art, I am grateful that my family has so many memories of her.