Gwynne Duncan, Painter

Resident at Westbeth since 1970

JANE in Snow

One day it was snowing. It was 1976, and I was 8. I have memories of winters when New York City was covered in snow so deep you had to wade through it waste high. It had just fallen overnight, and it was a perfect untouched sheet on the quiet city streets. My sister Jane was sick, so my dad took my sister Rachel and I out to play in the snow. We walked down to the entrance ramp on Houston Street, ten blocks south of Bank Street where we lived, and hiked back north on the old West Side Highway, where we would bike and skate in the summer, spring, and fall. We walked north, so we were in front of Westbeth, and you could find our window easily in the big building, a sea of many windows, because it was the top corner window on the main building extension with a roof over the tenth floor, just before the older, taller building began. Then we spelled Jane’s name in huge capital letters the size of the entire roadway, J-A-N-E, by jumping a path in the fresh untouched snow. We looked up and saw my mom and Jane looking out the window watching for us, waving.

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