Gone but never forgotten.
As word spreads quickly around the international burlesque community, most of you have heard that Dixie Evans has passed away at a Las Vegas assisted-care facility after suffering a stroke earlier this year. It is with great sadness that we report the news – it’s already been a very sad week at BSP as I have recently lost a personal friend (back home in Texas), and naturally have been doing a lot of reflection on the incredible importance of cherishing the moments we have with those we love, while we have those moments to enjoy.
I had the extreme pleasure and privilege of spending some time with Dixie while interviewing her in Seattle back in early 2011 when she appeared at The Swedish Housewife’s Gypsy Centennial. Despite her somewhat frail condition at that time, I found her to be an extremely sunny personality. ‘Sunny’ and ‘light-filled’ being the first two adjectives that come to mind. Our conversation ran way over the allotted time we were given, but she had so many stories and so much to say it just didn’t feel like an interview; it felt like a guided tour through Dixie’s reminiscences of her long and unconventional life. I was sitting on a sofa across from Dixie for the first part of our talk, but as we began flipping through her photo book I curled up with my legs tucked under me at Dixie’s feet. And that was how the rest of our conversation went. Me, listening intently at the feet of this lovely, elderly glamour girl, and Dixie moving back and forth from subject to subject, memory to memory, in a flood of words so brisk that it was almost hard to keep up.
As a result, the transcript from our interview was an incredibly long and unwieldy thing; but ripe with many pearls of Dixie wisdom and Dixie observations. She was funny, she was pensive, and at times she was a little melancholy about the passing of time and life on your own out in the desert. It was a moving afternoon. I remember when we said goodbye, she was stepping into an elevator with Laura Herbert at her side. As the doors began to close, Dixie turned back to face me and suddenly she grinned mischievously and gave me a secret wink. It was a bona fide showgirl gesture and it made my heart skip a beat.
I hope to once again revisit that long and winding transcript and share a little with you all in the coming weeks. Thank you to Dixie for that memorable afternoon, and for a memorable life.