As many of you know, Nora Creeach, our former Editor and Publisher,
was diagnosed with cancer in late 2007. When they gave her just six
months to live, she immediately made arrangements for me to take over
CQMagOnline. Nora fought and managed to outlive her doctors'
predictions, but sadly she passed away in late November. It was just a
week after her husband's unexpected death. In many ways, I think it was
worrying about him that kept her alive.
Nora Creeach in front, flocked by assorted nuts at Barbara's Treehouse
I have many wonderful memories of Nora. She was such a forthright
and spirited woman. Although she looked like a demure grandmotherly
type, she was full of raucous stories. When I got serious about belly
dancing a few years ago, I wrote to Nora to ask for her belly dance story,
since I knew she had been a professional dancer. I thought I would
share her response with you at this time, without editing or expurgation.
"You asked for it :-)
I hurt my back in my early 20s and spent 14 years in a back brace
when I was up and traction when in bed. My doctor told me I was
going to end up in a wheel chair and I was inoperable. I had a talk
with myself and decided if I was headed for life in a wheel chair I
was going to have fun getting there.
I took off the brace and threw it in the top of the linen closet
where it caught on a nail and hung until I had the stroke in '85, we
sold the house and my son got the brace down and put it in the trash
when we moved.
I signed up for belly dance lessons. Instead of causing trouble the
dance strengthened muscles and pulled my back into line and I have
not had any back problems since I started dancing.
First class I landed flat on my dignity in the middle of the floor
and our teacher a little dark Italian looked down her nose at me and
said "I didn't say rest, get up and do it again." I was so
embarrassed I couldn't tell her I had fallen I got up and did it
again. I danced professionally and taught belly dance until I had
the stroke in 1985.
During the time from age 34 to 46 I danced, taught dancing (even
subbed for my original teach) designed and make costumes. At the
tender age of 46 I could spin drop to my knees and do a full
backbend and put my head on the floor between my heels and then get
up spinning my veil the whole time. I have never been a light weight
but have been told I floated when I danced. I loved the veil work
I learned how to produce cable TV programs and directed and edited a
1 hour cable program on belly dance. It followed the dance from its
roots in the temples to the modern cabaret dancer. There were 20
dancers no two doing the same period of the dance.
I produced 2 national seminars bringing dancers from New York and LA
to teach and followed the classes with a big show (2000+ in the
audience) after each.
One of the costumes I designed was for a girl that dancer with a
boa. With the snake I could not use any sequins because they would
cut her skin so the entire bra and belt were hand beaded in gold.
The center front of the hip belt had a cobra with hood extended done
in gold with a silver chest emerald eyes and a scarlet tongue
She wore it to dance program in a big Las Vegas show and ended up
posing in my costume with the snake on the front cover of the Sunday
magazine (the one before Parade).
Unfortunately the stroke ended my dancing but I still do some of the
exercises to keep me as limber as possible now. I have finally been
forced into that wheelchair but I must tell you I have enjoyed every
minute getting there and put it off for 30+ years.
Now aren't you sorry you asked? :-)
Noora - that was but now Nora who is"
Nora, nee Noora, was such a character. I loved to sit and listen to
her stories, especially the bawdy ones. My favorite of which is her
account of the ending of her first marriage when she was still quite young.
Apparently her husband had abandoned her for another woman, but she needed
to contact him for something. Her only choice was to call his
girlfriend's home, so she did. It was late at night, and when the woman
answered the phone, Nora asked for her husband. The woman denied knowing him
or anyone by that name, but Nora was not to be deterred. When the
woman persisted in her feigned ignorance, Nora finally said, "well where are
your manners? Turn over to the man beside you and introduce yourself.
Then put him on the phone." For me, that story speaks volumes about
Nora's personality. I like to remember her as a force of nature.
Nora was the driving force of CQMagOnline. She really invested
herself in each issue, soliciting articles and submissions for the Readers'
Showcase. She was a tireless worker and deserved all of the accolades
she was given after each issue went live. She was also adept at
encouraging people and smoothing over ruffled feathers. To say that
Nora Creeach will be missed is an understatement, but there it is.
It is in her memory that we dedicate this issue and, in fact, the whole