Monday, January 08, 2007

Kate Fleming: A Distinctive Voice Remembered

Listening to the December 24, 2006 podcast from NPR Books, I learned that Kate Fleming, an actress who recorded audiobooks under the name Anna Fields, died after rainwater flooded her basement studio in a storm that hit Seattle on December 14. The full story is in the Seattle Post-Intelligencer of December 18.

Fleming chose the name Anna Fields as a tribute to her great grandmother, whose picture is posted on the Cedar House Audio website. Her great grandmother was an actress known for her beautiful voice. Fleming was known for her great variety of voices and ability to portrait both young and old when reading.

I first heard Fleming reading Havava Dreams by Wendy Gimbel, but I most remember her readings of Bushwhacked and Who Let the Dogs In? by Molly Ivins. She was so good that I thought her voice was that of Ivins. She did not sound as though she were reading.

Fleming leaves a legacy of over 50 audiobooks. Search your library catalog for Anna Fields.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thanks for your post, Rick. Here's what her community of friends are doing here in Seattle. Thanks.
-Nancy in Seattle

Kate Fleming Memorial Fund

Thank you so much for your sweet sympathy regarding the death of our friend, Kate Fleming, during the December 14 storm. Kate’s partner, Charlene Strong, not only lost the love of her life, but also her home. The recovery from this is going to “take a village.” Most of us cannot even imagine what Charlene is going through.

Because of the nature of this tragedy, Charlene’s homeowner’s insurance policy may cover only a very small part of the loss. It is our wish and goal, as their community of neighbors and friends, to share the financial burden of these extraordinary expenses.

In the January 3 Seattle Times, staff columnist Nicole Brodeur introduced the Kate Fleming Memorial Fund:

“The rain is coming down, steady and hard, and all I can think of is Kate Fleming.

She likely listened to a similar downpour on December 14, thinking like most of us that it was a comfort, but also a nuisance, and that part of living in Seattle is accepting it all. It turned out to be the kind of rain we haven’t seen in 100 years. Fleming, a talented voice actor, was trapped by a flash flood while trying to save the business she ran out of her Madison Valley basement. She drowned.

Neighbors have started the Kate Fleming Memorial Fund to help Fleming’s partner, Charlene Strong, deal with the devastation of their property, and her heart.”

The account number is 030600001486459 (for wire transfers, the routing number is 325070760), and can be made to the Kate Fleming Memorial Fund at any Washington Mutual branch. If you have a Washington Mutual account, you can also make a donation by phone by calling your local branch (not the 800 number). Funds will be transferred from your account and you will be sent a receipt.

The incredible out pouring of love and support is tangible and heart warming. Many of you have contributed in so many ways. All of your generosity is greatly appreciated. The power of the friendship and love for Kate and Charlene and for each other makes this an achievable goal.

Thanks so much for all your wonderful support and generous and loving gifts. Please feel free to forward this along to help us expand our circle of care.