Mother Nature provided a perfect day to salute Dolly Curtis, recipient of the Anne Linquist Library Spirit Award, presented on the Easton Public Library grounds on Sept. 19. As many library-goers know, Dolly is a cultural institution: She’s curated art exhibits at the library for 34 years…and she’s still going strong.
Lynn Zaffino, library director, organized and hosted the well-attended event. Some 60 friends, creative collaborators and library board members showed up to celebrate Dolly and socialize over wine and a hefty spread of canapes.
Zaffino talked about Dolly’s contributions of exhibits, interviews and oral histories. “The conference room houses the library’s collection of ‘Dolly Curtis Interviews,’ which she produced and hosted on community cable TV for 28 years. They were about interesting people and places, mostly in Fairfield County. Many of the subjects are no longer alive and these videos serve as histories of their accomplishments and lives,” Zaffino said, adding, “The videos have a warm, hometown quality to them.”
“Hometown quality.” Dolly noted how apt that description was of Easton. After so many months of Covid turmoil, Eastonites put aside stresses past and present to laugh and share the joy of a lovely afternoon and a great occasion.
There were two formal presentations. The first, made by Zaffino, was a portrait of Dolly photographed by Michael Albert and matted with colorful descriptive words offered by friends and family about her. Kara Curtis, Dolly’s daughter, opened the wrapped portrait to Dolly’s obvious delight.
State Rep. Anne Hughes presented Dolly with the official state proclamation which recognizes Dolly’s embodiment of Anne Linquist’s ideals. Service to community, social justice and bringing people together were the hallmarks of her life’s work.
Veronica Rozo, Library Board of Trustees president, praised Curtis for her contributions to the library. “We are happy that the reception to honor Dolly Curtis was such a success. We were blessed with great weather and an excellent turnout. Dolly’s work has been invaluable to the Easton Library and I think today we succeeded in showing her how much she is loved and appreciated,” Rozo said.
Linquist served as president of the Easton Library Board for two years and was a member of the Friends of the Easton Public Library. She died in 2006. During her tenure she came to know Dolly.
“I knew Anne Linquist,” Dolly said. “I am honored to be recognized with this award.”
It was a long time coming, but Dolly went home, proclamation under her arm, beaming with pride.