What's in a name? Maybe a lot, when it's Andria...
Do you believe in serendipity?
No? I’ll check in with you again after the following...
Is it banal to say life is eternally interesting? It is! An extraordinary story demonstrates this as it tells of worlds colliding from seemingly nowhere and in a way no one could possibly have imagined just a few months ago.
A fairly new friend of mine moved back to her hometown of Alexandria after living in Idaho with her sculpture artist partner. These two are amazingly talented people with whom I enjoy conversing and sharing time. Larry, the sculptor, told me of an artist friend in Idaho who is named Andria. He told me a bit about her story and I asked if he would please connect us, which he did.
Andria told her story as no one else can during our first engaging telephone conversation. I asked if she would be willing to share it with the Andria Theatre community as a guest blog. It follows.
“Early autumn in 1960 my parents were in Northern Minnesota on a hunting trip with friends. My mother was pregnant. The group dined one evening in Alexandria and, as the story goes, upon walking to the restaurant my mother turned the corner and stopped in her tracks seeing ‘Andria’ in lights. In front of the theater she put her hands on her belly and with tear-filled eyes said, “If I have a girl, this will be her name.” I was born on October 1, 1960.
This story was told throughout my childhood. My mom would get excited when someone/anyone would question why my name isn’t spelled with the traditional ‘e’ [Andrea]. Their question would again allow her to be transported to that sidewalk and the emotion of seeing that name in lights, and knowing it was mine.
In 1976, within months of getting my drivers license, I drove to Alexandria to see my namesake sign. With tremendous anticipation and pride, I too - just like my mother – walked around a corner only to find the theater with plywood on the front windows and most of the lights broken out of the sign. I was devastated. And, this was the end of the story until my dear pal Larry Meyers told me about the renovated, fabulous, award-winning Andria Theatre! My heart has been filled ever since. And though my mom left this world in 2011, without question I am sure she is smiling too.”
Andria Friesen operates a beautiful art gallery in Ketchum, Idaho. Click here to visit the Friesen Gallery. Thanks to very generous gifts from Andria and her husband Robert, the Andria spire will be lit well into the future.
Serendipity? Yes, I believe so! Join me in hoping there is an opportunity to meet this incredible couple and thank them in person for their gifts to Andria Theatre.
Stay tuned for further news about the spire and marquee in May. Hang on all…we’re in for a very wonderful ride!