V: Marisol, I am delighted to have such a talented artist on our show. Thank you for joining us to share you experiences with Liz Michaels. Tell us a little bit about your work.
M: My work definitely reflects the flavors of New Mexico—the land, the history, family, the people. I paint to suit myself, whatever catches my soul. I’m very blessed that a local gallery took a chance on my work when I was younger. Now my paintings sell not only in Santa Fe but also in galleries in major cities like New York, Chicago, and LA.
V: So you are a native New Mexican.
M: Yes. There is no place like it, especially Santa Fe.
V: How did you and Liz become friends?
M: Well, you know how it is when you are young. Santa Fe was pretty much a sleepy little village in the sixties. I wanted something different. I wanted to go to school in New York, but my papa would not allow it. He feared it was dangerous, and I would get lost there. Ah, we argued and everybody in the family took sides. Finally, a cousin suggested Pittsburgh might make both of us happy. It was a city in the East with schools and cultural venues, yet it was not as racy as New York and had a small town flavor. The University of Pittsburgh gave me a full scholarship, and that was where I met Liz.
V: I see. What drew you two to each other? I’m sure there were many people you could have befriended, especially among the art students. Why her?
M: After a few weeks in Pittsburgh, I was so lonely. I was truly a stranger in a strange land—so many sophisticated kids from New York, and so many of them had money and thought they didn’t stink. Ha! Now they pay big money for my paintings. I would see Liz sometimes in the cafeteria or studying in the great room of the Cathedral, always alone. She would sometimes come to the art department and look at our work. She spent a lot of time looking at my paintings. Her clothes didn’t look like she shopped at Saks, so I thought maybe she felt like she was in a strange land, too—and she seemed to like my work.
So, when she was looking at some of the paintings I brought with me from home, I introduced myself. We hit it off. You know how you meet someone, and it seems like you were twins separated at birth? Well, that was us. But I wasn’t happy at Pitt, so I didn’t go back after my freshman year. Liz and I, though, stayed friends all these years.
V: Did she talk to you about her father?
M: When we were at school, I knew she lived with her mother and step-father, but she never talked about a father. It was only after her mother died, and she went to live with the Kernans that she told me what happened. She didn’t even know who he was until right before her mother died. Thank God for the Kernans. Liz is one strong lady—stronger than I am, but there’s only so much pain a person can take. It could have really crippled her.
V: You were her maid of honor. What did you think of her husband?
M: I met him when I came to Pittsburgh to do a show at one of the galleries. I was so happy for her until I met him. He was so full of himself. Thought his money and family made him special. I was afraid he would make her very unhappy, but what can you say to a woman in love. At the wedding, he was all smiles and hugging her, but I saw how he looked at me, and it was no way for a new husband to be looking at another woman. He was putting away the booze, too. And the way he was when she lost the baby. He had no soul.
V: What about her current situation?
M: What can I say? I am so happy for her. She deserves this happiness.
V: And you?
M: Oh, I have it all; a soul mate, beautiful children, and my art.
V: Thank you, Marisol.