FAIRBANKS, Alaska - "The band began the number with a hopped-up beat
You were changing in the wings; we were incomplete
but the first verse was just enough time a clever clasp, a quick zip
a slight adjustment of the slip
a performer still approaching her prime
that coy expression on your face
offstage giggles and grace
as you were donning your dancing shoes
this crowd ain't seen nothin' yet
until our darling brunette
hits the stage with nothing to lose
and then you joined our hot mess
with the rockin' white dress
you Lieber and stole the whole show
that fancy fringe, the spotlight,
your gorgeous smile that opening night...
we'll miss you more than you'll ever know."
Theresa Bauer-Burger, who was originally from Spokane, Washington, was a fixture in the Interior. She realized her potential as a musician when she was in high school, when she decided to perform professionally. At the age of 19, Bauer committed fulltime, and traveled the United States singing and playing her guitar. In 1987 she wound up in Valdez, where she was asked by Ron Franklin of the Chatanika Lodge to head up north to the Interior. Bauer-Burger remained in Chatanika entertaining patrons, friends and family at the Lodge for almost 30 years. One of her many talents was song writing. Bauer-Burger wrote "Dizzy" in honor of her husband, and she even wrote a tune for the Lodge where she made her home.
Although, Bauer-Burger was a staple at the Chatanika Lodge, she was also the front woman for other local bands, such as Burnt Orange, Girls With Guitars, among others. She could hold her own in gospel choirs, and she was one of the few people who could sing anyone's songs from Taylor Swift to the King of Rock and Roll, Elvis Presley. She could also been seen on stage in local community theater productions. She starred, twice, in Always Patsy Cline, as the title role, and she thrilled audiences in both runs of the Fairbanks Drama Association's production of Smokey Joe's Café. Her most recent stint in community theater was the 2014 Fairbanks Light Opera Theater production of Les Miserables. Director of Smokey Joe's Café and long-time friend of Bauer-Burger, Peggy Ferguson, discusses what it was like working with Theresa.
Peggy Ferguson; Executive Director - Fairbanks Drama Association>>"I always worked with her on such a wonderful level. She was such a professional, always on time, always cooperative, always willing to put push and try, always giving 100%. She was a real collaborator. And, you know, when someone you love and respect as an artist loves you back and respects you back as an artist, there is no better relationship in the whole world."
Theresa Bauer-Burger was known throughout the Interior for her talent, her beauty, and her kindness. From childhood, she suffered from Type 1 Diabetes. On Friday, November 3rd, she succumbed to the disease she fought throughout her life. The performer who was still in her prime will, indeed, be missed more than she'll ever know.
For this week's Golden Art City, this is Amanda Brennan.