Mrs. Aileen Kay – portrait of a classy lady

Mrs. Aileen Kay

I first met Mrs. Kay in the summer of 1982 when she hired our Boy Scout troop to do some work around her house (we were raising money to attend a National Jamboree).  That following winter I knocked on her door during an early December snow blizzard to see if she wanted help shoveling her driveway.  That one knock began a 30 year friendship that ended with her passing in 2012.

Mrs. Kay befriended our entire family; attending our graduations and sharing in our special lobster dinners.  Eventually, Mom and she became the best of friends having weekly dinners together.  She would regale us with stories of her international travels; her dashing, late husband Dr. Kingsley Kay’s successful career at Mt. Sinai Hospital in Manhattan; summers sailing in Kennebunkport; and the lives of her two daughters.  As a naive teenager from a touristy fishing village in Maine (population 3,500), her stories seemed a world away.  Over time, she became a surrogate grandmother figure in my life as I barely knew my own grandparents.

She was an incredible woman; at times stubborn in her ways and from a different generation; one with manners straight from an Emily Post etiquette book; a lady.  In Miami, they would call her a true “dama.”  She had class.

This was the last portrait I took of her, sitting in her living room where she entertained hundreds of people over three decades, below some of her treasured artwork.  She had a devilishly captivating smile.

I think fondly of her daily.