Life with Danee was an endless party. She knew everyone. If she didn’t know you, she found out who you were and made you feel welcome to New Hope.
Danee loved to entertain. Thanksgiving, Christmas, Easter, Memorial Day, Fourth of July, Monday, Tuesday, any day was an excuse to fill our house with friends, good food, and laughter.
On special occasions Danee loved to greet our guests at the door with a gift. She called them tchotche. She’d go to the Dollar Store and buy 30 cheap little gifts and spend all night wrapping them in paper and ribbons till they looked like they held the Hope Diamond. She’d smile and say, “Presentation is everything.”
When people arrived at our house, Danee would present with a gift that had their names on them. I someone brought an unexpected guest, Danee would run into the living room where she had a pile of extra gifts without a name. She’d scribble the guest’s name on the tag, and much to the person’s surprise and delight, present them with a gift with their name on it.
Danee died on October 23, 1995. She is buried in Thompson Memorial Cemetery in New Hope, beside Mother Cavellucci.
Two years after Danee’s death, I was cleaning out a bureau in the living room. In the corner of the top drawer was a pile of well-wrapped little tchotche without names on the tags, still sitting where she’d hidden them the night before a long-ago party.
Read the Book – An Enlightened Community 20th Century LGBT Stories of New Hope, Pennsylvania