Focus on Howe’s Ring StoryFox Chase

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The character of Whistling Mary, the housemaid, retells the story of William Henry Howe losing his ring in the one-act play Hassam in the Garden, produced by the Florence Griswold Museum and written and directed by Jeffrey Benoit, 2003. The story is based on the reminiscences of Harry Hoffman.

Whistling Mary

“Now, it just so happened that Mr. Howe, after some time swimming, had lost his ring in the surf, a ring he fancied quite a bit. Well, of course, everybody there joined in to look to see if they could help him find it – but to no avail. Now, what Mr. Howe didn’t know is that one of the artists actually did find the ring but didn’t fess up to it then and there and kept it a secret. Well, later on that evening, back here at the house, the group sat down for dinner. Now, of course, Mr. Howe, being Uncle and all, was always the one to carve at table . . . So, when the meal was brought in – which happened to be fish that night – salmon, I believe – he began slicing and serving portions to everyone there. Well, after a few moments or so, he heard a light clink against his knife. Of course, he assumed it was a bone or something, so began diggin’ in there to remove whatever it was. Well, wouldn’t you know, when he pulled out the knife and held it up, there on the very tip of it was his ring – the very one he’d lost earlier that day! Well, for a few moments, he just stared at it in disbelief while all the other artists tried their best to contain their giggles. Of course, the secret was soon let out as laughter poured out round and round the table – and in the kitchen as well! Oh, it was the funniest, I tell ya! The funniest!”

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Jean Liuzzi as Whistling Mary in the Museum’s Hassam in the Garden (2003)

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Will Howe Foote (1874-1965)
Wiggle Drawing (man swimming with ring)
Graphite on paper