Galen V. Snow
My beginnings were simple. I loved horses, skiing and sailing and had fun doing it all as I grew into a young woman in the Pacific Northwest. Our family took many nature hikes and went camping with our horses on the rivers in the Olympic Mountains, where my step dad taught me to fish. I came to New England in 1970, attending Endicott College as my older sister had before me. When I landed at Logan that September, I was driven up the coast by family friends, and I got goosebumps. New England spoke to me! At Endicott, I was a hotel, restaurant management major. I moved to Gloucester, Mass after graduation and worked for the Hilton Corp in Boston. I traveled a lot after that; up to Maine, Canada, and across the US to southern Cali for a couple of years; the Caribbean and Mexico, paying for the travels with bartending gigs, waiting on tables and catering events along the way.
Clark Taber Snow, aka “Cricket”, and I met in Gloucester in June of 1980, just before I signed on with a 40’ Valiant sailboat as cook and crew, a delivery headed for St. John, USVI. Distance definitely did make our hearts grow fonder, and when I returned home in February, 1981, we connected up again. When I moved to Little Compton in 1983 it was at the request of my heart!! But, being a practical woman, I kept my apartment in Gloucester “just in case”. I gave myself the summer to figure it out and I’m still here after 37 years!
Oh, how I was (and still am) mesmerized by the beauty of Little Compton… so many breathtaking vistas: the landscape with its beautiful fields and stonewalls to the sea made my heart sing! I was in heaven, my artistic spirit rejuvenated. I picked up my pastels one day in the middle of a snow storm while living on Brimstone Hill Farm and began painting again. Dottie Snow, Cricket’s grandmother lived just across the driveway on the Farm. We became very close. She was a constant supporter of my artistic endeavors which were many. I would often take her and Cricket’s Aunt Beattie (Deems), for rides down to Sakonnet Point to see the boats and then to the beaches to see the ocean. They would sit in the backseat and chat (gossip!!). It was fun, and I learned a great deal about our little town and the people who lived in it!
Because finding work in LC is challenging, to say the least, I was happy to land two jobs that next summer – at the Country Stand with friends Skip and Liz Peckham Paul; and, at 4 and 20 Blackbirds Catering, owned by my friend Boo Hubbard. It was in those venues that I met many new people who became long-time friends and I began to feel as if I was part of the fabric of this wonderful community.
Clark proposed that August and we were married in December of 1984. Our son, Travis was born in 1986 (along with 15 other local children that spring!!). One day while holding my infant son my arms I asked our friend, Lois Goulart what the kids did for fun in Little Compton. She laughed and said, “Well, the beach, of course! Fun when they are little and even more fun hanging out & partying with their friends as they become teens”. I heard her, but it didn’t really register until many years later.
I was so happy to have a good school in the center of town where all our kids could go and make many friends. I still had friendships from my elementary school days, and knew how much they meant to me. We were a tightknit group of parents! I worked many jobs to make ends meet at that time. Clark was working in the fish business and I was still catering on occasion, but was also painting decorative furniture, murals & wall treatments under the business name of Kaipu Designs. (I owned a store in the Commons Guild for a year and along with my friend Reggie DeSouza, a jewelry maker and other art & design businesses). I also worked in Newport for an Interior Designer, Karen Vaughan, for many years. She was my friend and mentor on many levels, an incredibly talented person that taught me much about design; as well as how to survive living while working in a rural setting! She always encouraged my art journey, and essentially put me through the Rhode Island School of Design by employing me as her store manager at Karen Vaughan for five years. I was truly blessed and have been painting successfully ever since under the business name of Galen V. Snow, Fine Art.
As my son grew into middle school age, I was reminded of Lois’s words and could see how true they were going to be! We needed to resurrect a gathering spot for Teens! That was when I became focused on becoming part of the committee with my dear friend Pat Pond and 11 others to change the old & empty Grange Hall into a Community Center right in the center of our town. It took over 9 years and was a daunting project, one that I was and still am proud of which to be a part. When we cut the ribbon in May of 1997, we were a happy bunch of Board members!! Today, it is a thriving center of activity for all age groups. My furvent hope was realized in that people from all walks of life were able to congregate and socialize in our small town center without any restrictions or definitions–other than that they were included as members of the same wonderful community.
37 wonderful years later, I am a new grandmother and, as is often common here in beautiful LC, we’ve come full circle with our son, daughter-in-law and our new granddaughter right across the driveway at Brimstone Hill! So blessed and grateful for this special life in a small town that I came to as a stranger and am now here as part of the fabric of our tightknit community.