Remembering Evelyn ‘Tricky’ Welch

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I wrote a piece saying farewell to my friend Tricky back in August.  She was moving to a different home, a different job.  Last week I wrote another farewell and was one of many who shared our thoughts at the service celebrating her life.  This week, through the heartbreak and tears that so many feel, I share those remarks with you.

The life of our friend Evelyn Welch was a work of art; even her nickname set her apart as someone quite unique.  From her years raising two good sons as a single mother, she learned how to not only make do, but to make do with grace and beauty.  Wherever she lived, her home was an inviting place, walls filled with her favorite ‘outsider art,’ wonderful antiques, or pieces she had salvaged and made something wonderful. Her touch was equally in evidence outside, insisting on all white flowers as part of her landscape.

She shared her talents with the entire community, directing plays and becoming a close friend and mentor to many of her young performers, creating eccentric entrances for our Blues to the Point Festival; staging and costuming the historical production, The Point in Time; and most significantly, making the Butler Turpin House one of the top historical sites in the state.

Recently she had taken her talents to the William Whitley State Historic Site where she immediately set to putting that house in order, planning to recreate the first horse race held in Kentucky, and making new friends in the surrounding community.  She loved the house she was living in on the grounds of the site and put her great sense of arrangement and decoration to good use there too.  She loved walking the land around the house and being in the country.  She had long wanted an Airedale and was planning to get a dog this next year.

While gone from our community, the impact of many of her projects continues.  The Park Trails project is underway.  The Butler Turpin House is graced by the original oil painting of the General.  Her work as an original board member of the Main Street Program influenced what continues today.  Many local musicians owe the advancement of their public performances to appearing in her Park concert series.

While we have lost a treasure to this terrible, senseless accident, I know we are the better for having experiencing the force that was Tricky.


Jarrett Boyd is the retired director of Carroll County Public Library.