I, Ellen Elizabeth Salsbury, aka the writer LN Shapely, have passed from this Earth into unknown realms. It’s been a swell ride. Beginning on Long Island, New York, I was lucky to be born into a Leave-it-to-Beaver family and was loved, nurtured and protected by them. I sang since coming out of my mother’s womb and was featured all my young life. I played flute and became one of America’s top fingerstyle guitarists (in my own mind) and graced the stages of Gerde’s Folk City in Greenwich Village, and numerous other venues all over Chicago and New Mexico.
I achieved a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Stephens College, Columbia, Missouri in Architectural and Interior Design and spent my early career in those fields, primarily in sales. I lived in seven states just for fun, including some of our greatest cities: New York, Atlanta, Chicago, Seattle and Santa Fe. I refused to marry the first artists, drummers and various vagabonds that came along and chose, in all practicality, an accountant. That didn’t work out either, but we produced my greatest achievement – my daughter Chelsea Ann Buchanan Salsbury, who remains to this day, the love of my life.
After Chelsea’s father passed away, I struggled as a single mother for 15 years. I built 10 houses with blood, sweat and tears to get one of my own and relished in landscaping that creation. New Bern, North Carolina became my adopted home in 1973 and though I kept attempting to escape, the white sands and warm sea kept drawing me back. People were incredibly nice here and even the Yankees couldn’t help but join in. I began my writing career as a columnist for the New Bern Sun Journal and had a short-feature radio program on WTKF for several years. I wrote for regional magazines, the Internet, and published commentary essays until my last breath.
I am survived by Chelsea and her partner Jordan; three brothers: James William and his wife JoAnn, Peter and his husband Steve, and Arthur, the consummate Hippie; also, my first cousin Ardythe Fulcher and her husband Frank of New Bern, a load of beloved second cousins in Connecticut, and Linda Lee of Los Angeles.
A gathering for L.N. will be held at The Unitarian-Universalist Fellowship, 308 Meadows Street, New Bern…. (to be arranged)
Enjoy Heaven on Earth while you can and sing like no one is listening. A donation in my name can be made to the Unitarian-Universalist Fellowship of New Bern. And so it is~