The Passing of a Caramoorite …
In the spring of 1968, a young college graduate started working at the Box Office to help with Caramoor’s Summer Music Festival. That young man, Hilton Bailey, was to stay at Caramoor for 35 years — what may be the longest employment in Caramoor history — and his devotion matched his long tenure.
At the end of that 23rd festival, Michael Sweeley, then Caramoor’s Director, asked Hilton to stay as a secretary to Lucie Rosen, who had taken a liking to this young man. Unfortunately, Mrs. Rosen died in the fall of that year, and subsequently Hilton was appointed Assistant to the Director. Hilton worked with Mr. Sweeley and Anne Stern, the Rosens’ daughter, to prepare her parents’ country home to open to the public as her parents intended.
Some years later, Hilton was named Business Administrator, a position he held until his retirement. Since his office was in the Rosen House, there was a nice rapport between Hilton, the docents, and House staff, and we were always thrilled to listen to his recollections of times long ago — stories of Lucie’s graciousness, her memories of her husband, Walter, their travels, lifestyle, and their many friends who remained lifelong friends of hers after his death.
Hilton stayed on as a part-time archivist after his retirement. In this capacity he digitized the catalogues of the collection that Anne Stern had created with curators from the Metropolitan Museum of Art. What a project that was!
Hilton remained devoted to Caramoor and all it represented to the end. All who worked with him are deeply saddened by his death. As Paul Rosenblum, the recently retired Managing Director and also a long-term Caramoorite, puts it: “We who were privileged to work with Hilton valued him as a colleague and a friend and as a connection to an earlier Caramoor.”
Hilton, the legacy you helped create will endure.
— Merceds Santos-Miller, Director of the Rosen House
Main image: Hilton Bailey assisting three young audience members in the remote Box Office outside of the Spanish Courtyard.
The following information appeared in The New York Times on November 19, 2018.
BAILEY—Hilton M., Jr., passed away on November 11, 2018, at the age of 79. For 35 years, Hilton served as a Business Administrator for the Caramoor Center for Music and the Arts where he was loved by all of his colleagues, and was a key conduit to an earlier Caramoor and its founders. Hilton was deeply committed to musical performance, theater, art, and educational programs. Born in Queens, NY, Hilton was a graduate of the University of Virginia. A man of incredible passion, generosity, intellect and interests, he will be sorely missed by his friends, family and colleagues. In deference to his wishes, no services will be scheduled.