b'[Patty] In hindsight, we can see that the path leading tomoved in yet. And even though Rafferty wasnt called uponback his business consulting and was painting more. I wasout large pieces of the pristine bluestone. These highly the Spiral House began with our beloved dog Rafferty.to do anything heroic on that first night, he was a comfortgardening and fixing up our house. And Rafferty was takingvalued slabs were carried by horse carts to the Hudson Rafferty came into my life in 1981, shortly after Ifrom the start.us for long walks, helping us establish trails through theRiver and shipped to Manhattan to be used primarily for bought a ranch house set on 35 acres in Saugerties, NewHe was also a jealous chaperone. I met Tom a fewwoods and around the stone quarries on the property.sidewalks and architectural detail. We were surroundedYork. This was to be a weekend retreat from my life in months later, and the first time he visited my apartment,And then suddenly Rafferty died. We took a healthy,by the rubble they left behind.New York City, and one of my first acts as a homeowner whenever he tried to sit next to me, Rafferty jumped up andseven-year-old dog to the vet for routine worming andTom began collecting stones in that mad way that peo-was to look for a dog companion. sat between us, like an Amish bundling board. On our nextvaccinations, and the next day he was dead. We were totallyple sometimes have when embracing a new passion. LookRaffertyAfter many visits throughout the Northeast, meetingdate, Tom arrived with a two-foot-long bone, which quicklyunprepared to lose this whimsical and joyous presence inat this amazing rock, hed say. Look at the colors in thisA true spirit guide, Rafferty was part of our lives together hyperactive dogs that were barking and lunging on theirdisappeared with Rafferty into another room. He and Tomour lives, who loved to play frisbee, go camping, and singone. Look at this shape. Look at how this one glitters.from the beginning. His death leashes, I arrived at a big barn near Oneonta, two hourswere best pals from that day forward. Which was fortunate,along to opera in his yodeling voice; whose angular body wasLook. Look. Look. Soon there were stones everywhere inspired the stone bench that was the seed for everything northwest of my new home. There I met three-month-oldbecause Tom moved in not long after that. improbably covered in untidy fur that we let grow longerthe painting studio, the worktables, the paths, the driveway. that followed.Rafferty, whose parents were large mellow Airedales. I likedFor several years before and after we met, Tom workedthan is typical of Airedales. Our buddy, who had made us a that they had been trained as obedience dogs, bred for theiras a business consultant in order to support himself as anfamily of three from the very beginning, was hugely absent. capacity to understand and follow directions. The pup cameartist. During the week he traveled around North AmericaIt was easier for me to see the depths of Toms grief right over and started gently gnawing on my hand. I wasworking with management in industries as diverse as forestthan my own. Among other things, the loss seemed to stir chosen. I liked that, too.products, food services, liquor distribution, and airlines. Onup Toms existential questions about making art. What was When we arrived at home that first night, my new dogweekends and holidays, he painted large abstract canvases. worth painting? How do you make art that reflects your and I were met by several police cars in the driveway. WedBy 1988, when we gave up our apartment in Newdeepest feelings and ideas that you find meaningful? How do been robbed. Nothing much was taken since I hadnt reallyYork City and moved full time to Saugerties, Tom had cutyou make that art accessible to others? It wasnt a matter of 4Raffertys Bench 5inspiration, but a deep, deep desire mixed with frustration. We wanted to make some kind of memorial to Rafferty, and I suggested a stone bench on the site where we had buried hima spot nestled into the hillside, across from the house on the far side of the quarry pond. It would be a place to sit and meditate.It was while making that benchhis heart so open with love for Raffertythat Tom began his dialog with the stone, as material and as part of the terrain. He began to appreciate the unique character of each stone and the vast journey it had traveled, first to become part of the mountain and then to be fragmented into quarry rubble. The Ranch Houseand Quarry Pond After building the bench, it seemed that Tom couldnt I was looking for a piece of landget enough of the stone. And there was plenty of it all with some water, thinking I might pitch a tent for a while. Thisaround us, in all shapes and sizes. Our property lies on a was the first property I saw, ahard bluestone vein that had been extensively quarried handsome ranch house set in an old bluestone quarry. With thein the late 1800s to early 1900s. The quarrymen had used mountains, the quarry pond, anddynamite to blow off the weaker surface stone and the the glacial bedrock, I didnt need to look any further. sediment left by retreating glaciers so they could chisel'