The Amazing Beverly Courtwright

Jon Crispin's Notebook

I have always given primary credit to Craig Williams for saving the Willard suitcases, and his contribution to the preservation of these objects was enormous.  But if it wasn’t for Beverly Courtwright’s connection to Willard and her tremendous respect for the patients and their lives, the cases would have been lost forever.  On Saturday I got the chance to meet her for the first time, and thanks to the corrections folks who now control the site, we were allowed to go into the attic for a few minutes.  It is behind this door that in May of 1995 Bev “rediscovered” the cases.  She had become one of the Willard employees heavily involved with the transition team responsible for shutting down the psych center.  As a storehouse clerk, part of her task was to go through all the buildings to determine what should be saved and what could be thrown out…

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