The year was 1986 (probably). The place of our first meeting is lost in the fog of history (one of its petty zones). These facts matter less than what happened subsequent to the meeting; Connie, already highly accomplished as a mother, anthropologist, and all around know it all (okay, she knew something about everything)—took on the most difficult (okay, so most is debatably) task on the planet. She became my friend. For more than 30 years (might have been forty, but it is never good, apparently, to give exact numbers), she carried out the task with great skill and tact (okay, moderate tact). In the moments when her tact slipped, with frustration lacing her voice she would say: Brac-KETTE, you do not mean THAT (do you?). Some of these tact-challenging moments occurred during debates about slavery, racism, sexism and over the reality of the ever-invasive concept of culture (and since I get the last word, it does exist), to name but a few of the subjects wrought by sharing the discipline of anthropology and a penchant for meddling in Caribbean’s folks business (okay, so I meddle, and she did good, and if you do not know how good she did, you must be poorly read). Out of these conversations (okay, at times roof-rattling, poor turn-taking set-tos) we cobbled together many shared points of view and refined other to sharply pointed (utter) disagreement; jerking one another’s thoughts through knotholes (okay, loopholes) until the ideas (I am certain) wished us both ill will. (Or Antonio intervened with common sense, aka, told us both we were wrong, in a lecture that was often long and detailed enough that we both got lost in it; this being the wet-blank move, at which he is quite adept). These (infrequent) tact-tattering moments alternated with a multitude of good grace and genuine fun (okay, OoKay, and lots of coffee and booze, too), like when Dr. Sutton (now you know I am ticked at her for leaving me behind) accepted that it made perfect sense to opt for leather pants when witnessing an execution (bowels can be rather iffy). Beyond (okay, in addition to, if you prefer) sharing anthropology and the politics of getting through the day in Amerikay, she regularly viewed and commented on my photography. As she missed my first exhibit and will be late for the next, I close here with a brief slideshow goodbye [to be posted soon], strictly for the magnificent Constance Sutton. Farewell, my friend.
—Brackette Williams, University of Arizona