During the early years of Westbeth, we really had no security personnel. One person would sit at the desk and frequently was a woman. Tenants made their own security team: Serge Ivanoff, Will Gamble, Hugh Hurd, John Hacker, and Norman Penn.
One night, Ann Tabachnick called the security squad at two in the morning because she had brought home a man she met at a bar who wouldn’t leave when she wanted him to. When the security team arrived, Hugh Hurd discovered the stubborn guy was an actor friend of his.
Anita Steckel was a teacher at the School of Visual Arts for many years. When she started to fail because of a weak heart, she continued teaching—taking a taxi and using a cane to get to the school. When she became too sick to get out of bed, many of her students came to Westbeth to care for her. And when she died, they organized a show at the gallery showing her lifetime of work. They also assisted in a memorial event where people could share stories about her.