Mary Wagner at the Piano about 1951

Mary was at the center of cultural life in La Crosse. She had friends among artists, college professors, and musicians. A professional photographer took a photo of her standing in front of a Vermeer painting.

Because she was an especially good cook, visiting performing artists often dined at our home after their concerts. Some of the guests were Antal Dorati, Jussi Bjorling and Gregor Piatagorski.

After my father's death in 1949, Mary decided to pursue a career as a concert pianist. She studied in Boston with Fred Popper and Boris Goldovsky. Her attempts to launch a career sputtered after a few successes. Then she became very ill. When she was better, she started teaching and had as many pupils as she wanted. She would only keep students who practiced and followed her technical and artist direction.