Title page of upcoming book called "The Vine and the Cross"

Upcoming book called The Vine and The Cross

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I am deeply grateful to the following people:

First and foremost, I acknowledge Walter Nowick founder and director of the Surry Opera Company in Surry, Maine, for his vision of peace that brought the World War II and cold war countries, U.S.A., U.S.S.R., and Japan together with music in an organization called People of the Earth Together.  He established my connection to the beautiful country and people of The Republic of Georgia, U.S.S.R. He taught us to sing their music at a time when the cold war was raging and brought us there to perform with them. Without Walter and the music this story would never have been told. 

Patricia Taniashvili belonged to our troope of singers and traveled to Georgia to sing. She loved it so much that she went back to teach for a year and got married there. Her photographs, blogs and stories were invaluable to me in my immersion into the Georgian culture. 

Tatiana Bukin lives in Georgia, and reviewed, and edited the Georgian text for this book. Thank you Tatiana.

I have a special thanks for Elizabeth Van Dyke who taught me to sing.  She was the person that came to me one day in 1986 during the cold war and said, “Do you want to go to Russia? Come sing with the Surry Opera.” She introduced me to Walter and indeed I did join and sang with the company for many years traveling three times to the U.S.S.R., two times to Georgia and one lovely trip to Japan to join with the Japanese in great music. On that trip to Japan each singer was paired with a Russian. We stayed in Japanese homes, none of us knowing the others language. Elizabeth (Beth) was a soloist and a great professional musician. I owe her my voice.

I owe a great debt of thanks to my granddaughter Elizabeth Georga Menzietti and her son Sylus Cousins, my great grandson, for reigniting my faith and bringing me to the little church of Ellsworth Falls where I found a true church family. The music director there is Sheldon Bisberg, who was also one of the great soloists in the opera company. In the short time I have been there I found great inspiration in the messages each Sunday from Mary Angela Davis and Keith Bowie each week unbeknownst to them or to me, touching on a subject I was currently writing about. I found it astounding that Keith preached about the Apostle Mathias for three weeks at the very time I was researching Mathias who brought Christianity to Georgia.

Jonathan Kidder is an inspiration to me for his indominable faith through great adversity and became a mythical part of the story.

Last but not least I thank my daughter Donna Marie Lee for her editing skills and for her willingness to listen as I read her chapter and verse through the research and storytelling.

Thank you to my publishing coordinator, Stacy Tatters and the editors and designers at Page Publishing.

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In 1987 during the cold war, Alexandra on a singing tour to the Republic of Georgia, U.S.S.R., found herself transported through the Georgian music, to the fourth century A.D. in a mystical journey full of mystery, romance, martyrdom, and ultimate faith that brought Christianity to that country.

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