Going to the Haines library was always a good experience. I knew Ellen Borders would be glad to see me. One day she came out from behind the desk when she saw me coming. “Oh, Marie. Wait ‘til you see this!” She took me to the VCR section and grabbed a tape off the bottom shelf. “This is the sort of thing you like,” she said as she handed it to me.

It was “Song of Survival,” the story of the courage of women prisoners-of-war on the island of Sumatra during World War II, with music. This inspiring story changed my life. It became my directorial debut and was very well received by the community. Ellen was right.

I would like to think that Ellen knew the whole community loved her. I felt like Ellen especially liked me, but actually I bet she made everybody feel that way. Oh, Ellen. We miss you.

Marie McDonald