Artist Betty Fairbank Griggs Takes Us Down Memory Lane

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Artiste extraordinaire Betty Fairbank Griggs hosted the first YOLO ("You Only Live Once") event for the Rotary Club of Sarasota at her lovely condo at the Sarasota Bay Club on Sunday, August 16, 2015.

While the posh residential tower overlooks Sarasota's pristine bayfront, the real picturesque sceneries were depicted in 87 of Miss Betty's amazing watercolor paintings which lined both walls of the lengthy, but intimate 3rd Floor -- and this exhibit is not even her entire collection.

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Although some octogenarians are showing signs of Alzheimer's disease or dementia, Miss Betty dubbed her art exhibit as "Memory Lane" and guided us thru her seaside adventures in Portugal...

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Then we visited Switzerland through the eyes of artist Betty, who could whip up one of her watercolor paintings in three hours outside -- sometimes even in two hours!

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Her storytelling was captivating and whimsical! My favorite story was behind the Swiss cows in "Moo to You, Too":

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Miss Betty shared about her former life in Puerto Rico (where she worked as a realtor and raised two daughters) and pointed out historical landmarks and even daily life...

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We continued to gawk at and admire her incredible creative genius through her portrayals of Italy -- from the gondola in Venice to the duomo in Florence. Thanks to Ms. Griggs' glorious paintings, I could practically sense the trickling water under the Venetian bridges and perhaps remember the taste of gelato I savored walking by "Il Duomo di Firenze" (the majestic duomo in Florence) years ago...

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I also marveled at her brushstrokes that captured the vibrant feathers of Pepe the Parrot...
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I swear Pepe the Parrot kept looking at me as I walked away...

Retired mechanical engineer James Henry toasted to Betty Griggs' accomplished artwork:

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Longboat Key residents Joel and Gail Walters joined me in admiring Betty's multi-colored watercolors:

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Then, former school superintendent Robin Bardo and I realized we were "pretty in pink" amidst the plethora of paintings:

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Invited members of the Rotary Club treated the 86-year-old, active retiree Betty Fairbank Griggs to a potluck dinner in her exquisite home filled with not only artwork from her worldly travels, but also her collection of impressive books.

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Betty Fairbank Griggs is off to a villa in Tuscany, so we hope she continues to paint under the Tuscan sun. Alas, we must now patiently wait until she unveils her next canvas of More Memory Lane...