By Florence Crisafi on February 16, 2015
Sandy West seems like a character out of a Tom Robbins novel- a blissfully irreverent and unlikely shaman, living in nature and teaching through laughter, teaching that nothing is out of bounds, too sacred or too profane to learn from and laugh with. Except that Sandy West is very much real, alive and well at 102 years old, still protecting her magical (and also very real) island. Jane Fishman has done a wonderful service to record the life, the story, and personality of this amazing woman. Reading this book gives you a sense of the constant wonder and surprise of being with Sandy on the island. The book is inclusive, it does not preach but invites us and takes us along.
By L. S. Garrett on March 27, 2015
Sandy West is an example of bold. The contrast of the posh background, the pedigree husbands and the slew of servants with ‘who she was’ and ‘who she became’ was radical. I kept thinking ‘she is a democrat’ (not the current political party, mind you, but the Roman citizen). Mostly I thought, ‘she is an artist.’ Again, I am not referring to the obvious palette artist (which may also give the line credence). But rather to the ideas she propelled and embraced.
An artist can make one look at things differently, so much so that you have to pay attention and have to debate the merits and have to concede the importance seen. Christo wrapped the Brandenburg Gate, among other places, not just because he could, but for others to view the visual artifact in a new way.
Sandy West is the revolutionary environmentalist–and was before that was a cause or name or had a Washington office. What she has saved was indeed for herself, for every friend and every following generation. She deserves a medal.
I also did not think of this as a puff piece. At times it was a feature, at times a news story. And while the author did not dig to find dirt, she also exposed what had been happening and why. I found that it didn’t matter if I adored West, for what was a slam-dunk was the fact that I respected and admired her. She is valiant.
Some things must have the barn door blocked, lest culture tear it down.