Fond Farewell to Phyllis

Phyllis (center) with the All-Comers Band at our Community Dance on Dec. 2, 2016

Our 11th anniversary dance marked a watershed moment for Belfast Flying Shoes, and for someone we dearly love: Our co-founder, bandleader, board member, past board president, dance partner, and wonderful friend, Phyllis Buchanan.

This month, Phyllis is moving back to Greenwood, where she has built a new house on her old farm in western Maine… just slightly beyond commuting distance from the All-Comers Bandstand. Dang it all! We are very excited for Phyllis, who is rejoining a community where she has many old—and young—friends, many of whom she welcomed into the world, as a midwife. Still, Greenwood’s gain is Belfast’s loss, and she will be especially missed here at the Flying Shoes dance.

So many of the good things about Belfast Flying Shoes are a direct reflection of who Phyllis is and a direct result of her contributions. For example, she brought us the annual birthday party dance complete with wacky hats, mirror ball necklaces, All-Comers name banners, and innovative celebratory treats (mosai-cake, cupcake tower, and cookies & clementines). We fellow board members will miss her level-headedness, her dedication to planning, and also her constant reminders to stay focused on the fun.

A huge part of that fun has been the Community Dance, where the All Comers Band has has enjoyed Phyllis’s leadership, musicianship, and friendship—with a bit of wildness tossed in—and we’ve all enjoyed the beautiful results.

To express our love and gratitude, the board gathered up some gifts…

  • A vase, made by regular All-Comers musician Jody Johnstone, symbolizes the way that Phyllis has held the All Comers Band together, and the way she has held and preserved the founding dream of the dance and carried it along.
  • Some KEVA blocks, that were decorated by folks who attended the Dec 2 dance. Blocks are for building, and Phyllis has been a builder–of the dance, of the band, and of the community. We know she’ll think of us when she’s playing with her grandchildren.
  • A rock with just one word on it: Joy…

We will all miss Phyllis, but we’re not grumbling. Well, we are grumbling, but we’re also learning from the graceful, lighthearted way that she’s handling this transition. This is what loving non-attachment looks like.

Thank you Phyllis, and we’ll be happy to see you when you come back to visit on first Fridays!