Last September, Julie Hersh and Don Stone were chosen as the 2018 TACA Silver Cup Award recipients.

Established by former mayor Annette Strauss in 1976, each year, TACA

(The Arts Community Alliance) has honored one man and one woman for “outstanding contributions to the arts.”

Patron checks in with this year’s honorees described by TACA Carlson Executive Director and President, Wolford McCue, as “truly exemplify(ing) the spirit of the award.” Julie Hersh is a powerhouse.

You might not know that from reading her book, Struck by Living: From Depression to Hope.

I spent most of a night with it after she gave me an updated copy the afternoon we met for this interview.

I already had a first edition but had not given it as much time as it deserved, ABOVE & BEYOND

fearing to go too deeply into it would be a downer. That turned out to be true, and not true.

Hersh is an advocate for searing honesty, and happy endings, never contrived but wrested in deadly combat with noonday demons,

ABOVE & BEYOND as one writer called them, chemicals madly out of balance in her brain, unresolved consequences of sensible choices not always affirmed by irrational sense.

That she not only survived but also prevailed, her life infused with meaning

and her days with purpose, testifies to her impressive strength, buttressed by the stamina of a thoroughbred and the integrity of a saint.

Julie married into a Jewish family that eventually included two children as well as her husband Ken.

She remained an outlier, estranged from her Catholic upbringing but drawn to it nonetheless.

Now she enjoys hearing Rabbi David Stern at Temple Emanuel, but also turns up at St. Rita’s, which holds for her the consolation of ritual.

Her insights are laced with Christian concepts, such as “dying to something bigger than yourself…I love the idea of sacrificing yourself for something,”

she explains. Julie almost sacrificed herself to suicide, three times, believing her personal world would be better off without her.

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