by Richard Diem
Beginning when I was around eight years old, I had a secret love. I would say hello to her whenever I saw her – at least once a week - when I visited my grandmother who lived in an apartment at 43-24 43rd Street in Sunnyside. As my grandmother later told me, my beloved’s name was “Pinkie.”
Whenever I visited my grandmother, there was Pinkie, a graceful young beauty in a painting on the building lobby wall. Whenever I saw her, she came to life for me. I imagined her eyes were following me as I walked slowly across the lobby to the elevator. Next to her was a painting of someone who might have been her boyfriend, “Blue Boy.” Nevertheless, her eyes were on me the whole time, every time I visited.
The vision of her loveliness remains with me still as I walk through my memories from those days as a young boy.
In reality, Pinkie was Sarah Barrett Moulton, born in 1783 in Little River, St. James, Jamaica and educated in England. The painting was done by Thomas Lawrence and commissioned by her grandmother, Judith Barrett. Poor Sarah died a year later at the young age of 12 and was buried in London, England.