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  • Well...I was trained at The Old Vic in England as a Shakespearian actress and then I went to Hollywood. Then I went to New York and I was in the original company of a very notorious show called “Oh! Calcutta!” And that was very scandalous in its day and now, of course, it’s very tame to remember it. I was in Playboy and I was a foxy little thing and now I am just a little old lady.

    The first time I came to Bisbee was in 1993 when I was living in Mexico. At the time I was working on a book in Tucson and I came here for a day and within four hours I turned to the man who I was married to at the time and I said, "Everything has changed. This is like Sausalito Waterfront in California, where I used to live, but in the desert and I am supposed to live here and there is no doubt in my mind."

    So I went straight to an old real estate lady here and put a $50,000 bid on a house, barn and garden. They were asking $69,000, but they took it. So all of a sudden I had a house in Bisbee and I had no idea what I was getting into.

    A lot of people who live here, came for the day and never left. And what I really want to say is that I travel quite a lot and go to many countries and teach what I do, but it doesn’t matter where I go when I come through the tunnel back to Bisbee it’s always a huge sigh of relief.

    I can live anywhere I want to live in the world and sometimes I am tempted to go somewhere else, but for 20 years I have lived in Bisbee, thrived in Bisbee, become poor in Bisbee, struggled in Bisbee but celebrated everyday of being here with the kind of people that live here, the beautiful architecture, the amazing weather. I guess above all the kindness of the people that live here and the intelligence of so many of them too.

    That’s really it.

    Kate Drew-Wilkinson
    Jewelry designer, glass bead maker, former actress and writer
    Lives in: Bisbee, Arizona (pop. 5,498)

    This story is one of many collected around "The One Thing" that makes people stay, return or leave their small town.
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