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December 8, 1921 – July 3, 2015

“I love art. I started to be an artist because I learned a lot about art in school. I always loved art. I learned more when I came to Gateway.”

Evelyn Gero was born in Boston, MA in 1921. Her mother emigrated from Ireland and her father was from Leominster, MA. She was the second oldest of five siblings. Gero was placed at the Wrentham State School when she was 6 years old and resided there until 1950; when she was transferred to Dever (Myles Standish) State School where she worked in the Beauty Salon until 1965. After completing school Gero was placed with a family in Brookline, MA to take care of their children and clean their house. She remained working for and living with them for 25 years. This was her first experience outside of the state school system. Evelyn was a vivacious woman with a love for life and a wonderful sense of humor.

Gero began attending Gateway Arts in 1989. Over the course of her tenure, she worked in multiple media including ceramics as well as painting and drawing. Gero’s art work has a strong narrative base and allegorical presence; depicting religious scenes and symbols. Gero’s work has been shown locally, nationally, and internationally.

Dancing and Other Lessons by Evelyn Gero
“I remember starting dancing lessons when I was a little girl. ‘Course sometimes I was sick too. I had lessons in sewing and art. I love art. I started to be an artist because I learned a lot about art in school. I had an education. I learned reading, writing, arithmetic. I learned a lot of things. I learned more by reading books. I love books. I stick to me books ‘cause you learn a lot when you read. But art was my specialty. I always loved art. I learned more when I came to Gateway.

I started dancing when I was about four or five years old. They had to fix me up with a little boy because we were both shy. We danced together. We did a number tap dancing. We sang together also. And we traveled to entertain people in the hospitals and at Otis Air Force Base and soldiers on the Cape in Hyannis.
I used to do a lot of dancing. I love dancing. I used to love to rock and roll. I put on shows. I did decorations for the stage, tissue paper flowers. They were pretty. The boys made the benches and other things.

I started liking a boy and I left a nice note on his door. He was in the class next to me. I was about eleven or twelve years old. I started young romancing. I was too shy. I never wanted to kiss but he kissed me on the cheek. His name was Horace. I laughed. I felt silly. We both had blonde hair and blue eyes and I was very pretty. I wore pigtails and he had nice blonde curly hair. I really liked him. I liked another boy too.

My first kiss was with George. George took me dancing. That’s when I was free from school. I had my romance with George, Mr. George Hogan. I was nervous about flying. He wanted to go to San Diego. He had an engineering job out there. He was a year older than I was. I was thirty and he was thirty-one.

This was way after Horace. I lost track of Horace. I forgot about him. Horace gave me my first kiss but he kissed me on the cheek. George kissed me on the lips, but I let go of him. I just felt funny having a guy kiss me for the first time. It was my big first date. We went dancing. I enjoyed dancing very much, I danced in Rockport at Rockport Lodge on my vacation. Everyone applauded for me because I’m very good. It was during the summertime. We put on skits and we traveled. We have our own club. Every year we travel to Ipswich or New Hampshire. We have a good time. I have arthritis in my foot now, so I can’t do heavy dancing like tap dancing like I used to. “

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