PEEKSKILL, N.Y. -- Christine Lavin and Bernadette Quigley both grew up in Peekskill but had never known each other. However their mothers, Jody Lavin and Simonne Quigley, did.
Christine Lavin is a prolific singer/songwriter based in New York City.
"My father, Major Tom Lavin, was a teacher at Peekskill Military Academy," recalled Lavin. "My parents moved to Peekskill in 1947 right after they were married. I have eight brothers and sisters and we all went to Assumption and I went to Drum Hill and Peekskill High School"
Bernadette Quigley, a New York-based actress, is the wife of songwriter Don Rosler and works as his publicist. Quigley grew up in Peekskill with seven siblings and also attended the Assumption School before attending the Peekskill city schools.
Christine and Bernadette's paths would cross thanks to a song co-written more than a decade ago called "Christine's Refrigerator".
The song, co-written by Bernadette's husband Rosler and partner John Margolis, is about a man estranged from the woman he loves, and yearns to be one of the photos on her refrigerator along with other loved ones.
Christine Lavin was such a fan of the song that she set out to make a proper video for the song. She looked to friends for photos of their refrigerators and what they kept posted on them.
Rosler and Margolis submitted a song to Lavin for inclusion in a holiday album. Lavin liked the song but wanted to make a suggestion.
"I sent an MP3 of "Christine's Refrigerator" to Don (Rosler) and John (Margolis) because I felt that song had a better mix with the voices up front so asked them if they could recreate the same feel, not knowing that they had written that song!"
Lavin subsequently learned the song was not written about anyone named Christine, but was in fact co-written by Rosler about the woman who would one day become his wife, Bernadette Quigley.
"It turns out our mothers were very good friends, before I was born and when I was quite young," Quigley said. "It was just an amazing connection that this song drew us together and we found this very personal connection. My mother wrote me an email saying Christine's mother was one of the people she thinks about most in her life"
Lavin said her mother now suffers from short-term memory loss but still remembers Simonne Quigley, a French immigrant.
"Mrs. Quigley was someone my mother always talked about," Lavin said. "Both were mothers of huge groups of kids. She remembers them fondly."
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