Irene Mills Falby




Irene Mills Falby




Irene Mills Falby


Nola Forbes

Interview Date


Interview sponsor

Moda Fabrics


South Hero, Vermont


Nola Forbes


Please note: Irene is not a member of the DAR. While this is a DAR quiltmaker documentation project, membership in the DAR is not required for participation.

Nola Forbes (NF): My name is Nola A. Forbes and today's date is August 11, 2009, at 1:21 p.m. I am conducting an interview with Irene Mills Falby in her home at South Hero, Vermont, for the Quilters' S.O.S. - Save Our Stories project. We are doing this through the American Heritage Committee of the Vermont State Society Daughters of the American Revolution. Irene is a quiltmaker. Tell me about the quilt you brought in today.

Irene Falby (IF): The quilt I brought in today is probably the first quilt I ever did. It's called Sunbonnet Sue and Overall Bill. It's not particularly the best thing I've done, but because it was the first one I've done it has special meaning. It has more meaning because I, in some ways embarrassingly, made it while I had a job as an executive secretary in Burlington, Vermont. The boss was never there. There was never a whole lot to do, so I started bringing in these squares that I could appliqué, which was something that was easy to do at the desk. He would come in and have no problem with it. But more importantly, it was a special quilt because my husband and I were going to be adopting a baby. The office that I worked at happened to be located in the backyard of the Elizabeth Lund Home, which is where we were going to be adopting our baby. So at lunch time I would go out and stand on the stairs and peek over the fence to see if perhaps one of the girls that was there, pregnant, might be the one carrying my new baby. It was kind of neat for me to, for those months, keep working on this quilt and thinking about who we would adopt, whether it'd be a boy or a girl. So that's why I did Overall Bill and Sunbonnet Sue. It could have been a boy, could have been a girl. It just became a great project. The happy ending is that that year, 1975, which is actually embroidered into the square that Nola took a picture of, was the year that we adopted our first son, Matthew. Then four years later adopted our son Daniel. Then five years later I had a baby. [both laugh.] So anyway, that quilt has a lot of significance. At some point, I'll give it to him if he ever has any children.

NF: What do you think someone viewing your quilt might conclude about you?

IF: Well, she better work on her quilting techniques. [laughs.] Appliquéing wasn't too bad. It's a very simple quilt. It was when I was just starting off so I don't know what they would think about the quilt.

NF: Or about you?

IF: Or about me? Well, maybe that I like children, because it does have children in the quilt pieces, and a little bit whimsy.

NF: How do you use this quilt now?

IF: Actually I don't. I have a number of baby quilts that friends have made for all my children over the years and I've made a few. I tend to keep them wrapped up and not use them. Although I did make Christmas quilts for all the boys. Two of them are in their thirties and one's twenty four. We used to put those on at Christmas time every year. They always got a kick out of that.

NF: What are your future plans for this quilt?

IF: I'll hold onto it until Matt thinks he might like to have it. Certainly if he has a child I will give the quilt to him. Having not looked at it for a few years I realize it probably needs laundering. [laughs.] Maybe I'll clean it and take better care of it.

NF: Tell me about your interest in quiltmaking. What got you started?

IF: Probably, I had a friend at UVM. [University of Vermont.] She started a group of quilters at UVM and invited me. My husband was working at UVM at the time. I became a part of that quilting group. I just really got interested in all the design, the working with color and fabric. I had done some painting before. I can't call myself really much of an artist. I also was not much of a sewer. So that was a challenge for me to do patchwork, to get corners correct and stars sharp. Going to these quilt meetings and seeing what these women were doing was kind of exciting.

NF: Did they have a name for their group?

IF: It was Women of UVM Quilt Group. Their president was Judy Marschke. m-a-r-s-c-h-k-e. Judy was a very good sewer and a good organizer.

NF: At what age did you start quiltmaking, would you say?

IF: In my thirties. Early thirties. They had classes and so it was at that time, at a quilt meeting. I took a friend with me. On the way home I remember driving across the causeway and said, 'I'm going to open a quilt shop. That's what I'm going to do.' There was as much about the business part of it, but also having supplies. There were no supplies around. Actually, I was probably the second quilt shop. Yankee Pride being the first one in the area. I loved the business approach, but I also wanted to continue to make quilts.

NF: What was the name of your shop?

IF: Island Country Quilts.

NF: That was here in South Hero?

IF: It was here in South Hero. Actually my husband took a garage and turned the garage into a quilt shop. Then I started going to Boston and picking up all the fabrics. I had quite a line of fabrics. I researched all the different manufacturers and wholesalers. Then decided I needed more in there besides just fabrics, so I put out the word and got consignments. A number of the quilters in the Burlington, Grand Isle, Vermont area started bringing their pillows, quilts, clothing to my shop. At one time I had sixty vendors. Not vendors, but consignment people that brought stuff for me to sell. Even antique quilts.

NF: I recall that your husband made things to sell at your shop.

IF: He did, but I can't remember what.

NF: I bought some leather thimbles that he devised.

IF: Oh, yes, he did. That's right, I'd forgotten that. Yes, he made some leather thimbles and I think he made a few wooden things--he didn't make frames or hoops, but he was very involved because it pretty much took over our house. Then the shop just took off. We ended up putting on a huge addition, increasing the size of the shop and then upstairs had classes. I had a young woman, I can't remember her name, from Maine that came over and taught a week class and stayed with us. Other people would come in and teach classes, taught a lot of classes. I still have people now who were calling up 'til three or four years ago, about the quilt shop. I've been closed since [both speak.] let's see, '79, '80--about '85.

NF: You opened in '79? That was a long time ago.

IF: '79. Well actually, I must have opened in '80, '81. Actually. That's right. That's where I got the dates a little mixed up.

NF: Were there others you learned to quilt from besides Judy in those early years?

IF: Yes, I took a few classes. Got involved. I believe the Vermont Quilt Festival was going on then. I took some classes through that and started a group here in South Hero. There were a lot of very good sewers. Is this where I should bring in about Jeanne?

NF: Sure.

IF: One of the very good sewers who was also going to the quilt meetings with me was Jeanne Dumbleton. Jeanne was an amazing sewer. Made dresses, made clothes, was an incredible knitter. Taught me a lot about quilting because she was very precise and very involved in our group. So she would keep things going, come up with new ideas, continued to be a very influential quilter. The quilt group got together and decided that we were going to do a town quilt. We had twelve squares. Everybody picked a project. Jeanne was very instrumental in that. The quilt was all hand done, all hand pieced, appliquéd and hand quilted. It took us about two years to finish it. It was hung in the Town Hall for five or six years then went to our Community Library. Now it's in the hallway in the school that I work in. [low-flying airplane noise in background.] I'm kind of the keeper. I kind of follow it around because I'm really the only one in the area right now that has this interest in it. I just want to see it displayed. It's in a beautiful frame with a Plexiglas cover.

NF: When do you think it was made?

IF: '84. 1984 because the square I did was the cemetery in town. So I had all these tombstones. I figured I'll never remember when we did this quilt, so on one of the tombstones I put "Died August 1984." [laughs.] When I look at it, I say that's when the quilt was done.

NF: Pretty clever.

IF: It was a fun project. It was more reminiscent of some of the buildings in the community that have now changed so it's a wonderful quilt.

NF: In those days of being very active with quiltmaking how many hours a week would you say you spent quilting?

IF: Once I started with the quilt shop, I was getting many, many custom orders. I was quilting four - five hours a day in addition to running the shop. I tried to have something going in the shop. It was all-consuming. I quilted a lot, especially hand quilting because I wanted it to be hand quilted. That was important to me.

NF: What is your first quilt memory?

IF: Probably it's going to be the quilt that I did for my son. The Sunbonnet Sue and Overall Bill.

NF: Had you seen quilts before that?

IF: Yes, actually I used to go to the quilt shows. So that may be unfair to say, because I've always loved quilts. I love fabric art. I'm trying to think, it was after that. Also at that time I got a commission from the Fletcher Allen Medical Center Hospital in Vermont, which was building a new lobby. They asked if I would design quilts for the lobby. I designed six quilts. They were more wall hanging size. I talked Jeanne Dumbleton into doing one. A number of other friends in the community that were really, really good quilters. They all helped do the quilts. They hung in the Medical Center Hospital lobby for ten years until they faded. The sun just did a job on them. While I had the quilt shop I was very, very immersed in quilting. As part of the guild I was doing shows, Vermont Quilters' Festival show. I also was very fortunate to have the opportunity to show my quilting and quilts at the Eastern States Exposition in Agawam, Massachusetts. I was in the Vermont Building, which was a big deal because they just didn't let people go in there. The only other person I remember was the wool and the sheep and the knitting, that kind of stuff. But to have a booth there, to work on quilts and to even actually sell quilts, was really a big deal. I had to go down there and stayed twelve days in a row. I happened to have some friends in South Hero who spent their summers in South Hero but had a house five miles from the fairgrounds. My friend Patsy Robinson, who was also very, very much a part of my quilting days, actually worked in my shop with me, would go with me. We would spend the twelve days down there. I'd leave my three kids home with my husband. At that time two kids. He would take care of everything. I'd spend my time down there meeting all kinds of quilters from all over and having a great time talking about quilting.

NF: Are there other quiltmakers among your family?

IF: None of my family is quilters, none of them. [low-flying airplane noise in background.] I don't know where that came from. [laughs.]

NF: How does your quiltmaking impact your family, beyond the quilt shop? Did your children have duties within the quilt shop activities?

IF: Yes, I'd give them little jobs. Like I would cut fabric and have them help me wrap it. The funniest part, I think, is when I had the quilt shop my second son, Dan, was quite a character. At the time we also had some animals. We had a cow right out in the field, so people would park their car and actually look at the cow right there off the lawn. Many times the women would come in and the men would stay outside wander around, have a cigarette or whatever they do. One day a customer, the male, came running into the shop and said, 'Quick, quick, quick. Your son's out there and he's laying on the cow.' So we ran out and the cow's laying down 'cause it's hot. Dan has literally, about three years old, climbed right up on top of the cow and is laying there. We had some funny incidents with that. Then Dan saw one customer's husband who decided he was just going to lay on the lawn and relax. My son saw him laying there and took off running and jumped right onto this guy's stomach. [both laugh.] It kind of surprised him.

NF: Do you think he was jumping on a quilt, a cozy quilt?

IF: Could be, could be. But my boys, and I only have boys, were very proud, and loved seeing me quilting. It was something about me sitting there at night, quilting or working on quilts. They'd come over and sit near them, or they would comment on the colors. They were very, very involved and they all wanted a quilt. 'When you going to make me a quilt?' 'When am I going to get a quilt?' That kind of thing has always been very important to them. Now, I am rug hooking. They continue to be very interested in whatever I'm doing as a craft.

NF: So the fabric transitioned from quilts into rugs.

IF: Yes, yes, it did. [both speak.] Fiber art is still a big part of my life.

NF: I see you are using some quilt patterns in the rugs here.

IF: Almost all the rugs I've done have been quilt patterns. I just love the geometry, the use of color. I use a lot of solids. When I think back to the quilting that I did, I really liked solids. I liked the Amish designs. I really enjoyed working with that and I collected a lot of books for references. I tend to keep wanting to go back to the Amish simple designs.

NF: Your Clamshell rug reminds me of that.

IF: Yes, yes.

NF: Tell me if you have ever used quilts to get through a difficult time.

IF: I probably did. I probably didn't think at the time that's what was happening. Our second child was quite a challenge and there was some tough times. That was when I had the quilt shop and I was quilting, too. I think sitting there doing that repeat movement, motion, was soothing. I loved to read the stories about quilters. I felt all those things when I would read about quilters from the west or the mid-west who lived in mud, you know, back in the 1800s. That spoke to me very much. It probably was sort of romantic thoughts of it. I would read a lot about quilting and felt comforted by all of that, definitely.

NF: Do you have any amusing experiences that you'd like to talk about from quiltmaking years?

IF: Well, most of them probably surround my sons. [both laugh.] Their involvement, certainly. I wish I could think of something right now, because there were a lot of funny times. I can't think of anything right now. It escapes me.

NF: Perhaps you could tell how you got started with the Green Mountain Quilters' Guild. You were the very first elected president for that group. [IF served as President 1981-1982.]

IF: I'll tell you, I don't know how that happened. [laughs.] Why I got elected, I'm not sure. I'm sure at that time I had the quilt shop, so a lot of people knew me. I'm not introverted. I think that I had been speaking to a few groups. I had already started doing quilt shows in South Hero at our community library. They'd let us just throw the quilts over the stacks. So I think that probably a number of people knew me. I felt like I was in over my head. There were a lot more qualified quilters and a lot more people that understood what was necessary but I had fun. It was just a great group of people. Now that Nola has shown me the names of some of these past presidents who I haven't seen or heard from in years I remember a lot of them. I didn't live in that area and all of us didn't get together that often. You might see somebody at a quilt show. The guild wasn't getting together probably more than twice a year.

NF: It still meets twice a year.

IF: So, to even remember those people. They brought in some amazing pieces. I was awed by most of the stuff I saw. I just felt humbled, because I didn't really feel I was in that league at all.

NF: I think your organization skill was what we needed at those early stages.

IF: Probably. Probably. It was fun.

NF: You also had some contact with the Vermont Quilt Festival during those early years, as well.

IF: I remember when they were in Northfield [Vermont.] in the little Armory building. Richard Cleveland at that time was extremely involved. Again, because I had started some quilt shows up here I think that was the connection to that. I would have a booth and I helped hang some quilts. I just found Richard a great source of quilt information. Historically which was his real interest. He loved getting the old quilts which I like as much as anything. I love antique toys, antique furniture and I love the old quilts.

NF: How did you help with some of the antique quilts that were exhibited?

IF: Because of my connection here in the Islands and there were a number of very good quilters. Aura Allen, a-u-r-a Allen was in her nineties. Her quilts were exquisite. The quilting was amazing, tight little stitches, short little stitches. She'd never really shown her quilts. She'd never had anybody show any interest. I coerced her to show one, one year. She came up, with help from a niece, and was just blown away by seeing her quilt hanging in the library. She stood by it. People would come over and say, 'Did you make that?' She was so proud. It was a really big thing for her. Then I get a call the next year, 'Well I found another two quilts.' Eventually we showed all of her quilts. I think she had at least ten quilts. They were the best of the best that we ever showed. As a matter of fact, Richard Cleveland, each year, would show at least one of Aura Allen's quilts. Then, a neighbor across the street had a stenciled signature quilt. Very, very unusual, and very, very good condition. Richard again asked to show that. Alice Wells was the owner of that quilt and a bit hesitant to let it out. She let me show it at the Community Library Quilt Show where Richard saw it. He was able to show it. I think that she has since donated that to the Shelburne Museum Quilt collection because it is a very unusual and very fine quilt in great condition.

NF: That reminds me, did you also have a booth for some of the Champlain Valley Quilt Shows that were held at the Shelburne Museum?

IF: Yes, I did. I'd forgotten that, yes. I had a booth there for two or three years. You get to know all the other quilters and the shop owners. That was a lot of fun. Yes, I was involved with that.

NF: What kinds of advances in technology influenced your work when you were making quilts?

IF: Well, I wasn't really on the cutting edge of the new stuff. But once quilting started becoming nationally more open to everyone, all of a sudden all these people were coming up with, you know, the plastic mats to do all your cutting on. The cutting wheels. All kinds of different items for making your work more precise. Hard plastic templates. Those quilting templates so you could actually trace a quilting pattern on the quilt fabric. The pens with disappearing ink that people would use on their fabric. All those were really good things. I actually was so involved in it all for a while that I went to Dallas, to the big national quilt festival there one year.

NF: Houston?

IF: Houston, yes. I take it back. Houston. All by myself. I couldn't find anybody to go with me. I felt really alone there. There weren't very many Vermont people there or people that I knew. I was there for a week. I saw a lot of new stuff there, too. A lot more influence of the west. Quilting from the west. That was fun.

NF: So you were able to bring a lot of those goods to Vermont to sell?

IF: Yes and at least knew where to get them. Saw something I hadn't seen anywhere else.

NF: That was important to do that.

IF: Yes, yes. It was.

NF: What are your favorite techniques and materials?

IF: I tried to use 100% cotton. I knew that people who were really interested in quilting wanted good materials so I tended to use 100% cotton. The battings, less poly batting if I were hand quilting because it was so much more difficult. So the cotton battings if I could get it. Unfortunately I never really went out and bought a great sewing machine. I continued to sew on my old Sears sewing machine, which I still have. My husband gave it to me for our first Christmas together in 1969. I'm still using this same machine. I wished in a way I'd gone out and purchased a machine that was easier to work with.

NF: When you created your quilts were you working on those just in your store or did you have another space where you worked?

IF: Mostly in the store until I built the addition. Then I could go upstairs because I turned the whole space over the shop into a work area. I had a huge table up there. I could lay all my stuff out. I did a lot of quilting on a frame but I did most of it on a hoop. I found the hoop much easier to use, more portable, I would take it with me if I was going somewhere. I found my quilting was better in some ways on the hoop than it was on the frame.

NF: When you went to the Eastern States Exposition did you demonstrate using a hoop or using the larger frame?

IF: Hoop. Although, we had a quilt up on a frame also. We had one on a frame and Patsy would work on that. Mostly we worked on the hoop. We actually quilted the entire time we were there. We were always demonstrating quilting.

NF: When you designed quilts did you use a design wall? Or how did you decide what you would use?

IF: Mostly I designed it on paper. I would get out triangle stuff. I would use color crayons to give a color sense. I wasn't using anything elaborate. I've even found a number of the old quilting stuff I used to use. It's all hand drawn, mostly on just pieces of paper. I know that some quilters started to use computer programs quite a bit even quite a while ago. I never really got into that. Mostly it was hand drawn. I'd look through books or magazines or whatever to get ideas but mostly I would just draw it out myself.

NF: What do you think makes a great quilt?

IF: I've been to the last couple of quilt shows. I guess a quilt that speaks to the person who's making it. When you read what they've said about the quilt, what it meant to them, I think that has a lot to do with it. But, it's the workmanship. I really think, when I see a quilt and I see the stitches that are perfect, small, and the piecing is sharp. Right on. And the colors and the fabrics go together. Because I think color, in rug hooking that I'm doing now is the most important thing. I think in quilting it's the same thing. Color is so important. But it's the workmanship in quilting that jumps out more than it does in rug hooking. I think the quality of the actual hand work is so important. So many people now are using the longarm? Lots of the quilts now at the quilt shows are all machine long arm quilted. I agree. They're beautiful. I'm pretty impressed with them. But when you look at something that somebody's hand quilted and it looks as good or better than machine, then I think that's quality. Because the time involved in hand quilting is enormous. Just enormous.

NF: What makes a quilt artistically powerful beyond what you've already mentioned?

IF: More than anything, I think the color. The color and the use of the color. The palette. If it's hanging, it's the first thing that's going to draw you over to it. Then you're going to look and say, 'Oh, that's good workmanship. That's good quilting.' I think that's important.

NF: What makes a quilt appropriate for a museum or special collection? You have a collection of quilts.

IF: Uh hm.

NF: What comes through your mind when you are thinking of what to choose or how do you decide to add it?

IF: To put in the collection? Age. If I was thinking of a true collection I'm thinking of the age of the quilt, the condition of the quilt. Right now, I don't know if you noticed the Crazy Quilt I hang on the wall when you walk in my house. It has fabrics that were cut from the Bill of Rights [fabric or cloth.]. So it dates itself from the 1850s, probably. If it were to be in a museum or a collection it has to have a quality of antiquity and has to be in pretty good condition. And be attractive be pleasant to look at. I have some quilts that are pretty ugly. I'm not even sure how I got them, except that I did buy a lot of antique quilts. Some of them are beautiful. Some of them aren't so beautiful.

NF: Do any of those have a particular story with them? That comes to mind?

IF: No, not really. One in particular, one of my favorite patterns is the Flying Geese. One of the first ones I bought was a Flying Geese pattern, just because it had the reds and the blues. I just loved the way it was put together. It was in terrible shape. I took it all apart and re-pieced a lot of it and then hand quilted the entire thing. Hand bound it. That antique quilt right now is probably more important to me than any of the others. Although when we were building our house I wanted a wall that would display the quilt that I have up there now. I even painted the wall a color that is accented in that quilt. I really at one point wanted a new house to hang all the quilts that I have because I just love looking at quilts and fabric. I have one up. I just saw a quilt.

NF: What makes a great quiltmaker?

IF: Patience, probably. A bit of an artist. Although not all quilters are artists, that's for sure. Patience to stick with the hand quilting if it's got hand quilting, or the piecing.

NF: Who are some of the quiltmakers whose work you are drawn to?

IF: As I said, it's been a while, I'm not really too involved in the quiltmaking right now, but I do remember Nancy Halpern from Massachusetts who was doing really artistic and abstract kind of work with her colors. Her piecing would be maybe a bit traditional, but the way she would quilt it would turn it into an entirely different scene. There were quite a few quilters, probably, that impressed me. That's the one name I remember and she was young. Doing some really neat things. Davey Holmes [now DeGraff.], here in Vermont, did some really nice stuff, too. Certainly Yankee Pride owner.

NF: Judy Thomas?

IF: Judy Thomas, also an incredible quilter.

NF: She might have been your vice president.

IF: She may have been.

NF: For Green Mountain Quilters [both speak at the same time.] in that area.

IF: She also ran one of the first quilt shops. Judy was an amazing quilter. Very, very good. But what happens is once you start a business it's hard to continue doing all the work, the quilting work. She was very, very good.

NF: In what ways do you think your quilts reflected your community or region?

IF: [pauses 5 seconds.] The quilts I made, you mean? I don't know, that's a difficult question. Once I started the quilt shop, a lot of the quilts I was doing were quilts that people had requested. They wanted custom work. I do remember that some of the other quilts I did were what I consider very traditional. South Hero's very rural. They were more the traditional quilts that I read about in the quote 'traditional' quilting books. I'm trying to think. Ickis probably?

NF: Marguerite Ickis? [both speak at the same time.]

IF: Ickis was probably one of the first quilting books I had. A lot of her patterns were just-- Bear Paws and Flying Geese. I liked the traditional work.

NF: Living here on the Island did you do any that had a nautical theme?

IF: A sail boat one. Yes, I did. Again, for a child's quilt I did for one of my sons. All in blues, it was a sailboat motif. There was a lot of sailboat and water stuff that was done here in South Hero.

NF: What do you think about the importance of quilts in American life?

IF: Heavy question. I think they'll always be around. I hope they'll always be around because of the museums and people who care about fiber arts. When you read about the stories of people, women, who lived in the Midwest, who lived in dust bowls, who found color in pieces of fabric that they would save, the joy that they felt in putting fabric together in creating a whole piece. They would use their grain bags, leftover shirts, pants, clothes, anything to make something beautiful for themselves. It was also a time for women, and I know this was true in South Hero, it was a time for women to get together and socialize. We were all young women with children and our quilting night was sacrosanct. You just didn't not go to quilting. That was a community thing. It was really, really important to people in this community. Through the ages quilting bees, trading fabrics, and keeping that going, I think is so important. I know the Shelburne Museum has one of the most extensive collection of quilts. It's one of the most popular buildings on the whole Shelburne Museum campus. Looking at the different fabrics that are no longer around, colors that are no longer around, those are all really important.

NF: Do you have a favorite quilt among those?

IF: I don't. As a matter of fact, I'm going to get down to the Shelburne Museum this week. It's one of the things I want to do because I want to see the Tiffany stuff, too. I want to make sure and get in there.

NF: The Florence Peto exhibit is up right now.

IF: It is. Okay. I'm not familiar with that. No particular--I love all the Mariners' Stars.

NF: In general, how do you think quilts can be used?

IF: Well, I think they should be used. I really like seeing them on a bed. I mean, you can't have jumping up and down and roughhousing, but I think quilts should be seen. There are some that are so old and fragile that probably they shouldn't be put on a bed. I feel that they should be seen. I have one on a bed upstairs now. It's not an antique quilt, but I have to careful making sure the light doesn't get on it and ruin it.

NF: How do you think quilts should be preserved, to help them last for the future?

IF: If you're storing them, store them in a pillowcase or put them where there's not exposure to smoke, or sunshine or inclement weather, moisture.

NF: What do you think might be the biggest challenge confronting quiltmakers today?

IF: Time. I think women are all working. Finding time to do these things is a real challenge. In many cases no one's really showed them. They're going to have to be willing to go out and look for these kinds of things.

NF: Irene is there anything else that you would like to add to this interview?

IF: I can't believe the forty five minutes went by that fast. [both laugh.] No, I'm pleased to have done it.

NF: I'd like to thank Irene Mills Falby for allowing me to interview her today as part of the Quilters' S.O.S. - Save Our Stories. Our interview concluded at 2:06 p.m. on August 11, 2009.

[interview concludes.]


“Irene Mills Falby,” Quilters' S.O.S. -- Save Our Stories, accessed May 19, 2024,