Noyes Knows What’s Fair, What’s Flair
Artist and writer Beppie Noyes, 83, is the Sorrento resident who
got the town’s yacht club, tennis courts and swimming pool
opened to local residents.
Beppie Noyes, at
83, is out and about every day in Sorrento, her adopted town by
Twice daily, in
fact, she walks two separate circuits from Tasseltop, her old-style
home next door to the town’s old-style library.
Beppie Noyes has
been seen everywhere in town for more than 50 years. In summer, that
meant daily visits to the tennis courts and swimming pool.
It was a time when
the Village Improvement Association catered to summer visitors and
excluded local folks.
That didn’t sit
well with Noyes, and she told the association as much.
She still tells a
good story. Flash back from the woman who went from summer resident
to year-round resident:
“There was this
Mrs. Rowe, and she was so snobby. She said no local people were
allowed to swim or play tennis,” Noyes said. “I thought that was
was just a young boy then, and his father was the superintendent of
schools. They lived here, but they said he and his family couldn’t
enter the summer activities.
“I said: ‘Then they
will be my guests!’
“I got the summer
people to all agree that the locals could be in the programs, too.”
Noyes landed in
Sorrento by marriage to Newbold Noyes. They lived in the house where
he was born, and where he died, in 1998.
Newbold Noyes had a
journalism career with the Washington Star, in which he went from
war correspondent in the 1940s to publisher in the 1960s.
always been Newbold Noyes’ summer home, and Beppie Noyes quickly
learned the ins-and-outs of
Today, she is
completely comfortable as a year-round resident. She is quick to say
that what she calls the “la-de-la” life wasn’t really her style all
She used her 40
to learn painting and developed a style that enables her to show and
sell her work today.
She is a writer,
too. She has published a couple of children’s books. “Mosby, The
Kennedy Center Cat” is the best known. Back in 1978, she penned the
fictitious adventures of the very real, and elusive, cat that
actually took up residence in Washington’s Kennedy Center during its
original construction. Twenty years later, in 1998, she was invited
back to the Kennedy Center to give one more reading of her work.
Noyes said she has
spent most of the last year writing, rather than painting. That, and
“looking at” her paintings in a reflective way.
Her surroundings to
work in are grand. Tasseltop, built in 1887, is the one “cottage” in
town that has remained in the same family since its original owner.
ancestors, the Cochrans, were one of Sorrento’s two original summer
families after all.
The Noyes turned
the home into their year-round residence in 1990.
She has seen many
properties turn over in the neighborhood through the years.
“It is still a
community in the summer,” she said. “But the people who used to live
here have mostly sold their land for a lot of money.
“They also have
moved up from the point, from the golf course on up.”
Not the Noyes,
though. Beppie Noyes is staying put—as the town’s year-round “grand