By Buffy Calvert
Garnette Arledge moved into her apartment at 195 Main Street, in the Shellman house now owned and renovated by Deborah Raymond, on December 1st. She has weathered the winter and made a cozy, comfortable home. Now she plans to open Andes.Books.Com, a “gently used” book store, in her front room on Memorial Day weekend. She will also launch several workshop groups in her home starting in April and May.
Garnette grew up in Bethesda, Maryland but spent long, happy summers in her grandparents’ home in Henderson, North Carolina where 12 generations of Arledges had lived. Our Catskills, part of the Appalachian range, and our valleys threaded by rushing streams seem just like home to her. She has recently lived in Stone Ridge. Teaching The Writers Circle in Hobart drew her to Delaware County, and thence to Andes.
After graduating from the University of Maryland with a degree in journalism, she raised her two children, Elizabeth and Drew, in Princeton, New Jersey and became the editor of a small town newspaper. When she found herself reporting the death of a six-year-old girl struck by a car on a street without sidewalks on her way to school, Garnette discovered that she needed a role where she could be “overtly compassionate,” not just a cool observer.
She quit journalism and trained as a hospice volunteer. Soon she moved up to the Trainer of Volunteers, but that didn’t involve hands-on work. Since she didn’t qualify as a nurse or social worker, she decided, with the sage advice of her husband, to become a Hospice Chaplain. She enrolled in Drew University School of Theology, earned a Masters of Divinity degree and served as a Hospice Chaplain until her husband’s sudden death in 2003. She wrote a book on death and dying, On Angels Eve, as well as Wise Secrets of Aloha and ten books of memoirs written for clients, listening to their stories and capturing them on paper. In the last several years she has been teaching memoir writing and the novels of Jane Austen at Bard College and SUNY New Paltz. She now brings her skill and enthusiasm to Andes.~