People who knew Grayce are inspired that a person of her age was so full of life, physically active and ran her own business until age 97. Grayce would be the first to tell you that age is irrelevant as she did belly dancing, remarried and launched her artistic career in her 60s.
When Grayce, in her teens, bought her first horse, the only way to get Buddy home was to ride him through the streets of Philadelphia, causing quite the stir. Always the horse lover, on her 95th birthday she went riding, of course.
Everyone was Grayce's friend. She invited them from near and far, welcoming their families and artistry into her home and shop. She led the way with LULAC, encouraging economic independence particularly for female artisans of indigenous and disadvantaged cultures, a mission that continues today from Guadalajara to Ghana.
Grayce's son, John David Arnold, Marcario Ortiz, maker of Cases Crandes Hoyas pots, from Chihuahua, MX, and Grayce, at a pottery workshop, 1999. Wherever Grayce traveled, she met remarkable people with distinctive talent and expertise, including the Tarahumara, Yaqui and Seri Indians, with whom she traded for decades. Grayce loved every adventurous moment of her serendipitous life.
When you focus on living, rather than making lots of money, amazing relationships can form. Grayce's next-door neighbor in Doylestown, PA was Sara Lee. They baked pies together. She drove school buses with Pearl S. Buck. She made a friend of Faye Dunaway on a movie set, but declined her generous offer for the Spirit Tree mask, still in the Shop for all to see. The point is the enjoyment of the friendship. Everything else falls into place.
Madam Speaker, I am honored today to acknowledge the inspiring life of Grayce Bogden Noteboom Arnold, a woman who made great contributions to cultural development in my district and to the community of Patagonia, Arizona. She stands as a wonderful example of the significant contributions that women in the west make to the cultural and economic development of our communities.
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