Whether it’s fighting Parkinson’s disease or losing out on a bid for a house, Bonnie Queen doesn’t accept defeat easily.

Two houses into a quest for the perfect spot for her and husband Frank Hollick, she thought she had found one while heading to Cedarbrook Mall to shop. It was on a side street in the Wyndmoor section of Springfield, Montgomery County.

“The houses didn’t look like a development,” she recalls of that moment nine years ago. “It was an integrated neighborhood. It seemed like an unusually comfortable place to live.”

So when someone else put in the winning bid for that house, she wrote a note saying she and Hollick wanted to buy in the neighborhood, put it in 50 mailboxes, and got five responses.

“It’s hard to know what will suit your next phase in life,” Queen says, which is something of an understatement, given that her Parkinson‘s diagnosis in 2009 led the couple from Mount Airy to Chestnut Hill and from a multilevel house to their present home.

They knew that anything multilevel no longer made sense. But they did want something with some land. Both like to work outside, which eventually would also be a place for a grandson to play.

And they didn’t want a house that would require major renovations.

What they did want was space to display their creativity because they are both accomplished artists, although they have not made it their life’s work.

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Hollick, 77, is a photographer who ran audiovisual departments for a college and then spent 25 years as a fund-raiser for the Boy Scouts of America.

Queen, 74, was a social worker in child welfare and now works with other Parkinson’s patients. “I feel pretty fortunate to be this active 12 years since the diagnosis,” she says.

And the art?

“I didn’t attempt any kind of art until I was in my 60s,” Queen said. A “stupid” grade school art teacher had told her she didn’t have any talent, and “I finally got my chutzpah” to ignore that voice in her head. She went to Fleisher Art Memorial in Philadelphia, where the stated mission is to “make art accessible to everyone regardless of economic means, background, or artistic experience.”

Queen and Hollick took a course in collages there, and Queen recalls a teacher saying that “all these years it’s been waiting inside her head to come out.”

“With the pandemic,” she adds, “I had a lot of time to paint.”

Hollick says: “She paints whatever pops into her head one morning.”

The house, a copper-colored, three-bedroom, two-bath rancher built in 1947, sits up on a gentle, third-acre slope and is eclectic — to put it mildly — inside and out.

The exterior features a “Black Lives Matter” sign, $12 ceramic pigs on the lawn and the roof, and two rare Japanese maples.

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In back, fenced off from hungry deer, are a swing set; a raised garden plot for tomatoes and peppers that Hollick built with the clergyman who officiated at the couple’s wedding; and several rabbit families.

The living room has a five-paneled window looking down onto the street.

While the couple weren’t into heavy renovations, they did add a few distinctive structural touches, including a small sunroom leading onto the rear patio built in April 2020.

They also put copper epoxy flooring in the living room and tore out a wall to make a combination playroom, art studio, and nook for Queen’s punching bag, an exercise of choice for Parkinson’s patients.

What had been a third bedroom serves as Hollick’s office and their 3-year-old grandson’s stay-over bedroom.

The art itself is exuberant and, in Queen’s case, often highly colorful, including wallpaper designs surrounding mirrors in the main bedroom, and a floral mural outside near the front door.

But there are also a few purchased pieces and gifts from friends.

Hollick is particularly fond of a photo he took looking down the crater of an active volcano in Guatemala.

And, yes, he and Queen climbed it on a tour, Parkinson’s notwithstanding.

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