Back in June 2010 we published a Reader’s Letter from Rick Ferry. Rick was the partner of Emerald McKenty a lady who had written a poem about a Norwegian Maple Tree which she was trying to save. Recently Rick wrote again to update me on recent events. Here’s his letter:
My partner of the last 29 years, Emerald McKenty, took her own life on March 1st. You may remember her poem which you published “Let thy tree continue to grow. May it grow tall and proud. Pray don’t let them fell it down” to save an old Norwegian maple tree outside our flat, which we saved. She was very ill at the time with OCD and depression, but lived on for a couple of good years after hospital treatment. She suffered greatly from the loneliness, isolation and physical exhaustion that the OCD (a fear of dirt) imposed on here.
Even so, she had a great zest for life, loved nature, especially plants, animals and birds. She touched everybody she met and made them come alive; she was one of the world’s great eccentrics. She achieved a lot including: influencing Lady Diana to stop wearing fur, stopping the fur sponsorship of the Miss UK beauty contest and helping to stop pets being sold at Club Row Market.
She ran the successful poetry and music club, Krazy Kats & Dogs, at Chat’s Palace, was a performance poet and MC and ran an OCD helpline.
I remember when I first saw her front Animal Rights Marches in the 80’s dressed in Gothic black 30’s dresses. She managed to walk the Ridgeway though disabled, was a wonderful vegetarian cook and fashion trendsetter, a woman for the underdog and outspoken about any injustice.
Pet, animal activist and pioneer
13/5/50 – 1/3/12