A Fun Little Ditty ‘bout a Girl from Surf City

By Andrew Flack

Not everyone can remember such a fateful day
When an experience so monumental swept them away

But Carol (Smith) Freas has found a way
To reimagine the wahoo and whoopee she was given that day

Her 1st grade teacher, the kindest, Miss Knoll
Saw something in the child when she called the Art roll

She spotted a sparkle in the young girl’s eye
Gave her the chance for her imagination to fly

Carol remembers, “I fell in love on that day.”
Drawing and painting became more than just play

Before very long it was Southern Regional High
Under Tom Regan’s direction her dreams touched the sky

And teacher Pat Vanella, played a part, too,
Her encouragement key as Carol’s confidence grew

It was just what she needed at a difficult time
Perhaps teaching would become her professional line

To Philadelphia’s Museum School she proudly went next
At Kutztown State College her creative muscles were flexed

With marriage to Ray and two children in tow
She continued her teaching and went along with the flow

Her approach relied always on support and compassion
The care she’d received she returned double, with passion

Florida, Virginia, then even New York
Wherever they moved she kept up with her art

Painting in watercolors was her métier from the start
A way of connecting her brush to her heart

Back home on the island, life settling down
The more Carol painted the more recognition she found

In big juried shows and small exhibitions
Her reputation was burnished by winning competitions

Invited to join the National Watercolor Society
This wider acclaim hatched a local celebrity

So many front covers of Pooch’s Beachcomber
The perfect showcase for this prodigal “homer”

The Shack, the Lighthouse, fishes and ducks
Kids eating ice cream by a big Millside truck

Ring-around-the-rosy down by the bay
Dancers in motion just this side of risqué

Her friends do insist she’s got pizzaz and real spunk
Since there’s always an easel thrown into her trunk

She captures her subjects out-of-doors en plein air
With an authentic, decidedly Carol Freas flair

When calm is called for by her creative community
She’s the go-to girl to supply positive unity!

After three decades of teaching she’s still going strong
Whether at Pine Shores, or The Foundation, “It’s where I belong.”

Her tool box chock full, other talents surprising
Like Tuesdays at The Gateway karaoke rhapsodizing!

Her works of art you can’t ever resist
Either just for you or as a gift

Always on view in that Ship Bottom store
At Things-a-Drift there’s Carol, and more.

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