Monday, June 29, 2009

The end

I did it. I completed this list of 365 people I have encountered in my life, some of them very brief encounters, some of them very close to me. It was at times quite challenge, but many entries evoked memories I hadn’t thought of in years. I notice that the person who started this project no longer has a web site, so I can’t even go and report “I DID IT!” ...but I’m glad it’s a project I started and saw through to its completion.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

365/365: My Children

I have left off my kids in this list. Jeri, Ned, Paul, Tom, David–two of them no longer here. They are literally the wind beneath my wings. They support me, encourage me, love me, and roll their eyes at some of my antics. I love them more than I can say and am so glad that they are (or have been) in my life.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

364/365: My Mother

My mother has been my best friend for a very long time–not always, but for many years now. I admire her strength, her accomplishments. I love our talks togther. I love our card games, the lunches we have shared, and “Cousins Day,” the best day of the month. Everybody loves her and nobody can believe that she’s 90, since she doesn’t look older than 70.

Friday, June 26, 2009

363/365: Walt

Today is our anniversary and we’re an ocean and a continent and a half apart. He’s let me come to Europe with Jeri and a bunch of women friends. Walt is one of the original good guys. He’s put up with me for 44 years through all of my craziness and never (well hardly ever) complained. I’m a very lucky person and I love him.

(Walt--check the drawer under the little TV in my office)

Thursday, June 25, 2009

362/365: Marta

Our first daughter-in-law and we got us a gem. I have told her more than once that I would nominate her for sainthood. She and Ned have a fantastic relationship and she keeps him grounded. I can’t even think of what life for Ned would be without her. She’s also a voracious reader, a terrific massage therapist and a beautiful singer...and drop dead gorgeous.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

361/365: Laurel

When I spent my first day with Laurel, I asked Walt if he thought Tom realized he was dating his mother. We had so many things in common. As her relationship with Tom blossomed into romance, and then into marriage, we were thrilled that she was going to stay in the family forever. Now she’s the mother to our only grandchild and a fantastic mother.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

360/365: Phil

Phil was just always here. Always the good guy. Ned’s good friend, Jeri’s good friend. Everybody loved Phil. And then after most of her life, Jeri realized that she loved him “in that way.” They’ve been married a year now and the glow on Jeri’s face whenever they are together makes me so very happy. (He also won my heart when he adopted our puppy!)

Monday, June 22, 2009

359/365: Audra

We didn’t know Audra well when Paul married her and we were still in the “getting to know you” phase when Paul died. She moved to So. California after his death and got herself a veterinary practice. We still see her from time to time, but rarely. Finally, she has remarried and finally has a child of her own. I’m sorry it’s not Paul’s child.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

358/365: Peggy

We were long distance internet friends who became best friends, face to face, through her trip to the US and mine to Australia.. She’s the one I can talk to about photography, PhotoShop, animals, and things nobody else is interested in. I love laughing with her. I’m grateful for the time we’ve spent together, sad that we won’t be able to see each other again

Saturday, June 20, 2009

357/365: Char

What do you say about someone who has been your friend for most of your life? The crazy things we’ve done together, the good and bad memories we share? Who else would understand pumpkin pie marathons, ending in pie throwing? Teething on dinosaur bones? Seders in the desert? “Follow that grey car”? Laughing together, crying together. A lifetime of memories, and memories yet to come.

Friday, June 19, 2009

356/365: Jeri (the other one!)

We’ve been friends since college, were in each other’s wedding, we are godmothers to each other’s daughters. We’ve been through good times and very bad times and it’s nice to know that she is always there if I need her. We don’t see each other so much now that she has a new love in her life, but if I called her, she’d be there.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

355/365: Steve

Steve was the window God opened when he shut the door with Paul’s death. It was a chance meeting over lunch in San Francisco and a BFF was born. Incredibly talented singer/songwriter living with AIDS. We’ve laughed and cried together. He knows my heart. The man with a hug for everyone. We’ve had lots of adventures together around the country! I love him a lot.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

354/365: Gabi

This is a woman who took a cart full of lemons and made delicious lemonade. Her son killed himself after a gay bashing and out of that tragedy she has worked tirelessly for the safety of gay kids in schools around the country. She is a quiet, unassuming woman with the ferocity of a lioness guarding her prey. I have such incredible admiration for her.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

353/365: Arthur

The first person I knew to die of AIDS. I was his assistant to the director for Mikado and he promised to take me to lunch as a thank you. He had a “cold” during the show and when it ended, I had a call that he had been taken to the hospital. I sent a card immediately and he didn’t live to read it.

Monday, June 15, 2009

352/365: Concetta

Her father owned one of San Francisco’s most famous (and notorious) night clubs, yet she was always surprisingly normal. Part of our “Newman Group,” and the only one to be divorced. She has suffered from MS for many years and has no movement below her neck, yet she sometimes seems more active than I am. She grasps life with all she can while she can.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

351/365: Kathy #2

My cousin has always been in my life, but it has only been in the past 3 years that we’ve become closer friends, through “Cousins Day.” She’s had a very hard life and it bothers me to watch her struggle for breath, dealing with her COPD. She has only done good things for everyone around her and she deserved better from everyone in her life.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

350/365: The (not so good) Actor

He was the reason I didn’t become a theater critic many years earlier, when the entertainment editor asked me. I knew that I would have to review this man’s performances. He was a town favorite, his family and ours were friends, our kids went to school together. But–sorry–he was a TERRIBLE actor who had a much greater opinion of his talent than I had.

Friday, June 12, 2009

349/365: The Band Director

When our kids were little, the director would march the high school marching band up and down our street and we always stood outside to watch. Later Jeri joined the marching band, but this particular director had left. We were casual friends through the years and later I learned that the director’s marriage had broken up because the director now had a same sex partner.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

348/365: The Stage Mom

It was a long time ago. Paul was 8. He had just been cast in his very first speaking role in the children’s theater. The mother of his competitor for the part pulled her kid out of the show, claiming Paul got preferential treatment because I was involved with the theater. It was a childish tantrum on her part. Paul was GOOD in the role!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

347/365: Mike #3

I sat with him at a gathering recently. Hadn’t seen him in years. He worked the local theater with our kids for years and years; we went to his wedding in a field on a mountain top somewhere; now he has Parkinson’s and I was surprised at how old he looked when I saw him. But he’s been an important part of our Davis history.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

346/365: Martha

What an amazing lady. In her 80s and still performing, now and then. She was producer for the Davis Comic Opera company for 30 years. When Paul was starting to be a rock singer, she gave him a free voice lesson to help him learn how to protect his voice. She is a “lady” in ever sense of the word. I’m glad she’s a friend.

Monday, June 8, 2009

345/365: Bob #8

He’s a popular local columnist and it seems like I’ve known him forever. It’s fun to run into him at the supermarket. He gave a lovely talk at Paul’s memorial service, wrote wonderful things about Paul when he did his monologue show, and later, about David’s funeral and then Paul’s. He and I locked horns briefly on political issues, but have made up since then.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

344/365: Gary

I only met him once, briefly, but I’ve reviewed him three times. A wonderful actor, big teddy bear of a man. I can imagine him as a grandfather reading stories to little children. He is one of the few actors, in all the years I’ve reviewed shows, who has actually written to thank me for nice things I said about him (usually, I get complaints!)

Saturday, June 6, 2009

343/365: The Critic

I met this woman at a summer performance. We were sitting next to each other, each holding review packets. I tried to make small talk and she cut me dead, letting me know she had TONS of experience and I couldn’t possibly even hope to come up to her level. We see each other frequently, and I never try to talk to her any more

Friday, June 5, 2009

342/365: The File Clerk

This was the very best thing I ever did in my job as office manager. I hired her, her skills were somewhat dubious, but I told her she would have to create her own job. By the time I left the job, the place could not run without her. She knew where everything was and could answer any question. She became invaluable to the office.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

341/365: Marge

She was my favorite aunt, the one I knew best. She smoked like a fish and had one of those smokers’ voices. She was warm and funny and had nicknames for everyone. She helped anybody who needed help. It was a terrible loss when she died of lung cancer. I still smile each spring when the iris bulbs from her yard bloom in my yard.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

340/365: Stacie #2

She saved me so many times when she was working as my assistant. Wonderfully intelligent and competent woman. When I was “invited” to leave my job, I told them they’d be crazy not to hire her to replace me, but they didn’t because, like me, she didn’t have a degree. When she left they hired a series of “qualified” people who couldn’t do the job.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

339/365: The Recruiter

She was all excited about the things we were going to do together and the work we were going to do together. It was like a non-financial pyramid scheme. Once she signed me up for her committee, she disappeared and I was stuck with a 2-year term on something I never quite “got.” I went to meetings, but feel that I contributed absolutely nothing.

Monday, June 1, 2009

338/365: Bob #7

We dated for awhile. He lived up in the hills and had a VW bug. I remember having to lean into the curves when we drove up the hill to keep from tipping over. He married and had a son. He was an artist and made us the weirdest wedding present ever. We heard his wife left him, and later that he died of AIDS.

Sunday, May 31, 2009

337/365: Bill #8

Despite the fact that he was part of our group for decades, I never liked him. I cried when she married him and her mother took me on a long walk to convince me that it really was a good thing. He was wonderful to her and a fantastic Dad, but he and I just never hit it off. We were cordial, but never friends.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

336/365: Caller ID’d

We’ve been friends a long time, but since we got caller ID several years ago I don’t think there has been ONE single conversation we’ve had where she didn’t complain that I always knew who was calling, or complained that I acted like I didn’t know who was calling. It’s very irritating and it makes me want to not answer the phone when she calls!!

Friday, May 29, 2009

335/365: Valerie

At the end of the school year, she had a nervous breakdown and I’m not surprised. What a disaster of a year. She told us she did best with girls and didn’t handle boys well (inspired confidence in those of us with sons). Volunteering in her class was such horrible experience that I never volunteered again. Our son threatened suicide that year. Terrible, terrible, terrible!

Thursday, May 28, 2009

334/365: Sian

She lives on a very small island in the North of Scotland and her pride and joy is the lighthouse near her house. We met her in England and continue to keep track of her through the internet. Such a great joy to visit her and see the wild, barren landscape of the area around Orkney, where some of the oldest human settlements are located.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

333/365: The Travelers

At a party I told the wife that I would love to see their travel photos (I meant it). About a week later, we were invited to dinner at their house. I made the mistake of asking “who else is coming?” We had a time conflict and it wasn’t until later that I realized we were invited to watch pictures. We were never invited again.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

332/365: Scott & Matt

I babysat for these two guys after school for about a year, shortly after we moved here. They were on the diving team with our kids and they were all good friends. They were a real handful. My neighbor reported me for babysitting without a license (didn’t know I needed one!). I couldn’t watch them any more, but recently found them, as adults, on Facebook.

Monday, May 25, 2009

331/365: Tim #2

He married us. We were the first wedding he performed after he was ordained a Jesuit priest. He was not only a priest, but also a physicist and worked for years at Fermilab and later on the Superconducting Supercollider project. He was a warm, sweet, funny, brilliant guy who died suddenly in September of 2001. He was 73, but seemed younger. We still miss him.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

330/365: Father Fisher

If Fisher was on the altar, you knew you were in for a l-o-n-g Mass. Everything was very slow, very dramatic. He was a nice guy, whom we later visited in New York. Many years later he adopted a son and it was strange getting Christmas letters from him with news of his son. Fisher died several years ago, but we still remember him fondly

Saturday, May 23, 2009

329/365: The Tour Guide

After I graduated from high school, my mother, my grandmother and I went on a trip to Hawaii. We flew over and took the ship back. This guy was our tour guide, taking us on a catamaran cruise, and to a luau. Such a sweet, fun guy. A few years later we learned he had undergone a sex change operation and was now a woman.

Friday, May 22, 2009

328/365: The Lothario

In love a 90 year old, and told her so several years ago. But he’s married and she told him she’s not going through breaking up his marriage. She just considers him a friend, and they remain friends, but he calls daily, stops by to visit, brings little gifts. I guess it proves that even in your 80s, there can still be romance and intrigue!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

327/365: The Mom

She raised the most beautiful, most talented, most intelligent, most special children in the world. I know this because I have never talked with her in thirty years when she hasn’t told me so. It became a joke. Say you’d met her in the store and my family will always ask “and how are her kids...?” She always forgets to ask “how are YOUR kids?”

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

326/365: Scrabble Buddy

We live about 2 blocks from each other, but we almost never see each other; however we have been playing on-line Scrabble together for about 3 years. She is an amazing woman, who survived the death of a child and a husband in a fire and tells about it and rebuilding her life in her eloquent autobiography (unpublished). (She always beats me at Scrabble too!)

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

325/365: Doug #2

He was a local business owner and husband of a friend of mine. When he got a computer, he hired me to come help him with some problems he was having. The second time I came out, I spent half a day trying to fix his problem, but it was not possible. He never paid me, or even thanked me for the time I spent.

Monday, May 18, 2009

324/365: The Chief

We were both members of an arts commission. I enjoyed the commission so much – wonderful, creative, funny people. Then she took over as president and decided it should run in a business-like fashion. She was so militaristic that the fun went out of it. I started dreading going to the meetings and when my term of office was over, I asked not to be reappointed

Sunday, May 17, 2009

323/365: Jimmy

He was a classmate all through grammar school and he always teased me unmercifully about my weight. My most embarrassing moment was tearing the seat of my pants on a bush while I was at a park. I had to walk home with my underwear exposed. Jimmy waved to me from his upstairs apartment and I just about died, thinking he could see my butt.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

322/365: Dae

Dae was a neighbor and was pregnant when she moved in. She had a dog named Shannon, whom I loved. But he was killed one day by a meat truck (what a way for a dog to go). I went with her to pick out another dog. We got Blackie, who was the closest thing I ever had to my own dog as a child.

Friday, May 15, 2009

321/365: Catherine

We were sophomores when Catherine came in mid-year to be our history teacher. Her predecessor had made history come alive for us, and Catherine was a stickler about memorizing dates. I hated history ever since her first day. She was a large woman with a hair lip and came across as a plodding personality, but 40 years later, she’s still teaching at my old school.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

320/365: The Movie Critic

He is a movie critic, an entertainment editor, and the local expert on all things Charles Schulz. He usually wears a shirt with Peanuts characters, his office is adorned with Peanuts memorabilia and his house is famous for its Christmas decorations, which leave the outside adorned with lights and characters and the inside is a veritable Peanuts museum, including hundreds of little statues & stuffed Snoopys.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

319/365: Penny

We stayed on a farm that she owns when I was in Australia. Lovely lady who raises miniature horses, sheep and chickens. She inherited the farm on the death of her father, but the downturn of the economy in Australia had caused her to sell off most of it. I loved watching her feed the baby lambs with formula in old nipple-topped beer bottles!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

318/365: Alan #2

He was one of 3 bosses in my first job. We worked OK together, but of the three he was my #3 favorite. I remember he invited me to a party the first year I worked for him. The party was to start at 8 and I arrived at 7:55 and nobody was ready for guests yet. That’s when I learned about being “fashionably late”!

Monday, May 11, 2009

317/365: Owen Chamberlain

I had this Nobel Laureate for Physics 10 when I went to UC Berkeley. Hated the class. I did terrible. I never wanted to hear about physics ever, ever again. Then I was hired as a secretary for the Physics Department at UC Berkeley and at one point ended up working for ... Owen Chamberlain! (He was a very nice man, when he wasn’t my teacher!)

Sunday, May 10, 2009

316/365: Snyder

This guy had the lead in a play I was doing a story on. He refused to do an interview with me, fearing I would sabotage him, but did finally consent to a phone interview. Fascinating guy, very interesting, and I wrote good things about him–then he was fired from the play for bizarre behavior, apparently. Having seen him in rehearsal, it didn’t surprise me!

Saturday, May 9, 2009

315/365: Yvonne Brewster

I’d never met a living legend before. Well, other than Judy Garland. But Yvonne Brewster was awarded the “living legend award” by the National Black Theater Festival. She was one of my first “celebrity interviews” as a reporter. She could not have been more delightful, very down to earth and a pure joy to interview. Her production of “A Streetcar Named Desire” was also excellent.

Friday, May 8, 2009

314/365: The Med Student

Students applying to medical school, fill out what is called am AMCAS form, part of which is a page long narrative about your life. This guy’s was so long that I ran it SO many times and when it was finally finished (to my great pride) it filled every single fraction of an inch of white space–but it took days to get it to fit!

Thursday, May 7, 2009

313/365: David #2

This is a guy I knew from Compuserve for several years before I actually met him in person. He looks like a stereotypical ship captain and at the time we met, he was living in a small mobile home he was driving around the country. Fascinating guy and one of my favorite people. We last saw him at dinner on Fisherman’s Wharf in San Francisco.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

312/365: The PhD Student

Closest I ever came to killing someone. I was hired to type his PhD thesis and we were at loggerheads the entire time.. When I had 200 pages typed and took it to him to proofread, he didn’t like the look of the letter “a” and he wanted me to remove every ‘a’ in the paper and replace it with a different typeface. I didn’t.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

311/365: Mouton

He hired me to help him with his college papers, to correct his grammar and his spelling (both of which were abominable). We had an easy camaraderie until I made the mistake of making one teasing remark to him, the kind we made to each other all the time, in front of his family. That was 30 years ago and he still hasn’t forgiven me

Monday, May 4, 2009

310/365: Sister Zoe

We were all afraid of her. She had a perpetual scowl and the effect was enhanced with her dark tinted glasses. She was my homeroom teacher and throughout the year, we ALL came in for our share of (deserved) rebuke. However, in my darkest hour, she was the person who stood in my corner and took my side. It totally changed my opinion of her.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

309/365: Dancer/Director/Choreographer

I would have liked her more, initially, if she had asked her children to stop screaming during our interview. Fabulously talented woman who has choreographed on and off Broadway. When I met her she had just been through a round of chemo following a mastectomy. Says her next major project is to convince insurance companies that YOUNG women need better screening procedures for breast cancer.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

308/365: Sean

This guy, who looks like a miniature Luciano Pavarotti, is a walking encyclopedia of opera trivia. He has his own opera radio show and a local public radio network. I met him when his wife came to work in our office. . Both of them were wonderful people and I thoroughly enjoyed working with her, and got an in-depth education on all things opera from him.

Friday, May 1, 2009

307/365: LY

One of the bravest women I know. Following the death of her mother from ovarian cancer, she had all the tests to determine if she was genetically predisposed and learned she had the markers for both ovarian and breast cancer. So she voluntarily underwent a bilateral mastectomy and a total hysterectomy to prolong her life. I don’t know if I could ever have done that.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

306/365: Norma

She was my boss at one of the worst jobs I ever had. It was a family business and I was the only non-family member. When an in-law was hired it caused friction within the family and they all turned on me, as the outsider. My working conditions went from being ideal to being abominable. I was finally told my services were no longer needed.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

305/365: Janne

My friend’s friend. I met her in Australia when I was visiting there and found her a delightful person, who loved building things. She and her dog Molly would go for walks with us in the bush every morning. Even Peggy didn’t know until many years later that she was so claustrophobic she couldn’t handle going to a theater with people around her.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

304/365: Rafael

Rafael was the leader of our second group of Chileans. As leader, he stayed with us. A large man with a hearty laugh who loved to cook. One of my favorite moments from his stay with us was his teaching one of our kids–was it Tom?–how to tie a tie. He moved to Florida but I lost contact with him about ten years ago.

Monday, April 27, 2009

303/365: DeeDee

At one time I thought she and our son Paul would marry. They lived together in a duplex near our own house and watching him with her daughter was so beautiful. They bought me a garlic peeler once. But she left him for a former girlfriend and after Paul died she sent me a lovely scrapbook with photos of Paul playing with her then-baby daughter.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

302/365: Anne #2

She was one of my 3 best friends in high school and was my co-editor of the yearbook. Lovely girl who, presumably, has become a lovely woman. She left high school and became a nurse. Has a couple of kids and lives in So. California. I haven’t seen her in decades, but we still exchange greetings at Christmas. I’d like to see her again someday.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

301/365: Gail

She bought the business for which I worked and I stayed on to teach her how to do medical transcription. We learned WordPerfect together. One day I called in to find out where she was sending me to work that day and she said, “I’ve sold the business; you’ll have to find yourself another job.” I did....but what a shitty way to tell me!

Friday, April 24, 2009

300/365: Brodie

He was there when our first son died (we were flying back from NY at the time). He had just gotten a degree in massage therapy and massaged Dave’s feet as he lay in the hospital bed. His wife was pregnant at the time and when the baby was born, his middle name was David. That baby is almost a teenager now. Hardly seems possible.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

299/365: Cat Lady

We knew each other from the theater and when I volunteered to be a photograher for the SPCA, I ran into her there–she was in charge of cat adoptions. She dragged me onto the SPCA board to do the newsletter. Her dedication to cats is admirable. The last time I was at her house, she must have had a dozen cats there, most awaiting adoption.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

298/365: Mary #5

She was one of the leading contraltos in a Gilbert & Sullivan musical theater company in San Francisco. A lovely lady, so completely UN-like many of the roles she played! After retirement, she moved to Mallorca for many years but she had moved back to California shortly before her death. We corresponded at Christmas and were always “going to get together” for lunch but never did.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

297/365: Bruce

My cousin was a grown man with grey hair before I ever knew he even existed. Which is not that strange since I have about 32 cousins. I met him at our first family reunion. We were in the parking lot and he asked “are we related?” He and his wife were married at the second family reunion at a ceremony performed by another cousin.

Monday, April 20, 2009

296/365: Shirley #2

When I arrived in Davis, there was no La Leche League and so I agreed to get a group started. Shirley became my second in command and we led the group together for many years. She moved 80 miles away many years ago and we haven’t seen each other since, though we exchange Christmas greetings each year–I think her child attends the University here now.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

295/365: Mike #2

He looks like a rabbi but is a devout Christian with many eclectic interests. Our families have shared many adventures together...too many to count. Wherever he goes, it rains. “Follow that car,” a parking lot attendant once told us and we wanted to tell him we had “followed that car” for several hundred miles across the desert. And yes, it rained. In the desert.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

294/365: Patrick

He could not have been a more perfect roommate for Paul. They had music and so much more in common. I’m sorry Paul didn’t stay in school. Patrick once delivered a baby for a woman who had collapsed on the streets of San Francisco, and made headlines. Now he’s a well respected motivational speaker. I see stuff about him on the internet all the time.

Friday, April 17, 2009

293/365: HB

A local artist whose style is definitely to my taste (if I were a collector, I’d collect some of her stuff). She knew our kids and performed at one of our funerals. Unfortunately what she chose was totally inappropriate, but we appreciated the love and the work that went into it. I haven’t seen her in several years now, but she’s a very nice person

Thursday, April 16, 2009

292/365: Ken #2

Lord, was this a creepy guy. The day I met him, he decided to show me a game on his computer. I wanted to be hospitable, so I answered all the questions on his game until they started getting very personal. I had to drive 300 miles with him the next day and was extremly uncomfortable. I’m glad I don’t know where he is now!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

291/365: Mary #4

I knew her from the internet, and only met her once, one of the worst nights of my life. She came to a party being given for us. We were in the back room on the phone learning that our son had been in an accident and wasn’t going to live. She was very nice...and very short! I wish I had known her better.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

290/365: Stephanie

I arranged for a group to donate money to allow her to attend a meeting she couldn’t afford to come to. A month later nobody had heard word one in thanks for their donations. It was not the first time I felt manipulated by her and I was rather miffed. It’s taken me a long time to get past her attitude about the whole thing.

Monday, April 13, 2009

289/365: John #5

What a wonderful talented actor, and a darn nice person too. We were part of a very special production which had a profound on everyone involved. Then he disappeared for a long time and I only recently rediscovered him again, through his brother on Facebook, very happy to know that he’s still a nice guy, still talented and though not acting much, writing a lot.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

288/365: Dougri

Doug Blanchard was a videographer I met when I began posting videos on You Tube. He was an interesting guy, a beatnik type who thought anything good was “kick ass” and who loved Jack Kerouac. He was 10 years younger than I, and so when I received news that he had died it was a great shock. I hope you have a kick-ass eternity, Doug.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

287/365: Bill #7

There was a time when I thought he was gay, but he assures me he’s not. Very sweet, very gentle man who takes good care of his mother, but longs for a woman of his own to love and care for. He’s on a campaign to force himself to get out and find someone and I wish him well. He deserves some happiness and companionship.

Friday, April 10, 2009

286/365: Mrs. T

They had a TV long before our family did, so I always tried to go and hang out with her daughter, so I could watch TV. Especially Superman. Poor Mrs. T was coerced into inviting me to dinner almost every night. I wonder if she enjoyed it as much as I did. I think my mother was embarrassed by how much time I spent there.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

285/365: Carolyn #2

We worked on a project together. When we met we were at the same places in our lives, young married women with small children. The project went well, though we had totally different styles. We went our separate ways at the end. She’s a hard core Republican and I am a staunch Democrat, so I suspect it’s good that we only exchange Christmas cards now!

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

284/365: Rutabaga Lady

My most memorable La Leche League client. An older single mother with her first baby and petrified about everything. I was the La Leche League leader who answered her questions about breastfeeding, including the 2 a.m. call she made to ask me if her baby was crying because she ate rutabagas for dinner. I’m afraid that I was somewhat less than gentle in my response.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

283/365: Dr. Macy

He was the father of a family friend, and my first dentist. He didn’t believe in high speed drills, water, or novocaine. It was real torture going to him. He also didn’t believe in x-rays and when I finally went to a new dentist, he took x-rays for the first time and discovered Dr. Macy had missed thirteen cavities. I really loved the new dentist!

Monday, April 6, 2009

282/365: The Counselor #2

My first major crisis occurred with the death of my best friend. I made an appointment to see a counselor, who spent most of the appointment talking about all the people with more serious problems than mine. When I left, I was given an assignment to complete for the next time. When that time came, I brought my “homework,” and it wasn’t even asked for.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

281/365: The Counselor

I’ve known this person for many, many years. A very talented well-intentioned mental health professional, well known in his circle. But I also got feedback from patients, when I worked for doctors’ offices, who had gone to see this person for therapy and were turned off when the counselor fell asleep during their sessions. I suppose after many years, you get bored with people’s problems!

Saturday, April 4, 2009

280/365: Tom

He’s our local videographer, who has videotaped all of the theatrical performances and a lot of other stage shows that have taken place in this town. He has become default historian for local theatrical companies because he’s the only one who takes an interest. Sweet man, whose talent for video has grown since I’ve known him and whose garage looks like a movie sound studio!

Friday, April 3, 2009

279/365: The bad driver

She was my fill-in person to accompany me to plays when Walt was out of town, but her driving terrified me. I tried offering to do the driving myself, and I even drove to her house to pick her up, but she was adamant that SHE do the driving. Sadly, I stopped inviting her to join me. Now if Walt doesn’t come, I go alone.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

278/365: Jose

Our first high school exchange student from Brasil. He was a real mama’s boy who spent the first night here writing a long letter to his mother. The whole night. Later he graduated, returned to the US to work and was here 10 years until he married a woman from the Czech republic and moved to Prague. Now he’s back in Brasil again, teaching English.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

277/365: Harris

I understood he had been an Olympic ice skater. When I met him he was teaching in a tiny place in San Francisco and our Girl Scout troop was taking ice skating lessons from him. I was hopeless. He tried in vain to teach me how to do something simple like skate backwards. I was lucky just to be able to go forward and stop.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

276/365: Ruth #4

I tried to find her for 25 years. Our goodbye had been so final. I was always curious to find out what happened to her. When we finally met again, at a school reunion, she was very dismissive of all of us. Said her curiosity had been satisfied and she didn’t need to see us again. To date, she has resisted all attempts at contact.

Monday, March 30, 2009

275/365: Pat #5

She always greets me with how much she likes my blog and how sorry she is that she hasn’t read it in awhile (it takes so long to read a page!). In truth, I don’t care if she reads it, but it’s embarrassing that SHE is embarrassed. If she doesn’t like it, fine. Let’s just not make that the focus of our conversation every time!

Sunday, March 29, 2009

274/365: Brett

He was our kids’ diving coach and molded the local diving team into a real force in California (for a recreational program vs. a lot of professional clubs). Unfortunately he eventually decided to become a professional trainer and we could no longer afford his fees and that was the end of our kids’ diving experience. He was a wine collector with his own wine cellar.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

273/365: Robbie

This hairdresser has a big following in town, I’ve heard. He did a great job on my hair, but his claim to fame is that he is very large and has long bushy hair. The fact that his real name is Robbie and that Robbie Coltrane played Hagrid in the Harry Potter movies makes it difficult to make little kids believe he’s not really Hagrid!

Friday, March 27, 2009

272/365: Rodrigo

He was an exchange student with us for six months, a very unusual, studious Brasilian guy who was very nice, but didn’t seem to bond with us very well. He is most remembered around here for the stance he assumed whenever we took his picture (which was frequently!), a kind of bow-legged stance with elbows bent and out. Walt still stands like that for pictures.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

271/365: RRJ

We dated in my senior year in high school. He was the romantic lead in the senior class play. It was a girls’ school and we had to import the guys from other schools. In retrospect, this was the start of my becoming a fag hag. I couldn’t understand why he would rather be with his friend than with me...till I put 2 & 2 together.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

270/365: Herc

I remember two things about this dentist – he had bad breath and he yelled at me. I was so afraid of him that I stopped going to the dentist completely. All things considered he was a good dentist, but I just couldn’t take his scolding. It wasn’t until I found a friend, who was also a dentist, that I started taking care of my teeth.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

269/365: Jerry

Strangest man I ever met. I remember when he took me on his sailboat. As we got to the dock, he stopped talking “normal” and began talking “nautical” and talked that way until we got off the boat again. Aye, Matey, he did! He collected seashells. Died of jaw cancer several years after we met. Was missing half his jaw last time I saw him.

Monday, March 23, 2009

268/365: Marilyn #2

She was a long time theatre/opera critic and we shared duties for awhile until her retirement. We also shared the sadness at the loss of a child. I spoke with her periodically, but never realized until her death what an amazing woman she had been and how varied her accomplishments throughout her life had been. I saved her old reviews on a Blogger web site.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

267/365: Peggy #2

I met her 1-2 years ago, a delightful woman who was, I believe, a nurse during her working life. She lost her daughter to (cancer?) a little over a year ago. I don’t see her as often as I would like, but I always enjoy her company and her memories of some of her life experiences. She is now facing knee surgery in the future.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

266/365: Carolyn

Wife of Bernie #2. She once told me, “sorry, dear, but therapy is only for crazy people” when I sought help coping with my grief after her brother’s death, perhaps because she could never accept his homosexuality. But she never ever got over his death herself because she refused any counseling. Now I understand that she has Alzheimers, so perhaps she is finally at peace.

Friday, March 20, 2009

265/365: Bernie #2

Brother-in-law to my gay friend. Pretended to be nice, but couldn’t stand XX. Didn’t want any of the fag’s things to go in his house after XX died, but he made an exception for the expensive Oriental rugs. He destroyed his daughter by so undermining her self-esteem throughout her life she has never believed in herself, though she’s an attractive, brilliant woman, and fantastic parent.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

264/365: Nancy #2

An older woman I’ve met recently. She has a delightful, delicate sense of humor, but is very serious about everything. She has many stories to share and all of them embellished with flowery details. Always with a lot of tiny pieces of paper on which she’s made notes so that she doesn’t remember the points she wants to make. She refuses to learn the computer!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

263/365: Michelle #2

She is my mother’s goddaughter, who was deprived of oxygen at birth and has mental disabilities. She’s in her 50s now. I only saw her once, at a party, when she was about 10. She was remarkable in that she could remember every single person in the room by looking at the cloth of their dresses once, though she never made eye contact with anyone.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

262/365: Frank

I always thought of him as my uncle. He was by far my favorite of the family in-laws. I thought we had something special between us. But when he and my aunt divorced and I wrote to let him know that didn’t change anything between him and me, I got a short note essentially saying “don’t call us, we’ll call you.” Never saw him again.

Monday, March 16, 2009

261/365: Mitch

He was a TV legend when we moved here, the host of a popular daily children’s program. I didn’t meet him until many years later, long past his cartoons days, but what a delightful man he was. Now 86, still performing and armed with an endless supply of stories about his days performing in the golden age of Broadway, with the likes of Katharine Hepburn.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

260/365: Leah

She was the aunt to my first boyfriend and was the one who introduced him to me. She lived in a tiny underground apartment next door to us and I remember that she had a Manx cat (breed without a tail), who, as I recall, was not very friendly and not only scratched me a lot, but even scratched Leah. Haven’t seen her in years.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

259/365: Diane #2

We met when she flew into town to help out during Finals Week (our biggest typing week). She was friends with the woman who owned the business, but she and I hit it off and we have remained friends all these years, while her friendship with the owner dimmed. She is as much of a crazy cat lady as I am a crazy dog lady.

Friday, March 13, 2009

258/365: Miriam

She is a long time journaler (has been journaling so long that I don’t call her a “blogger”) whom we met in person in London. Her journal details her trips around the world and is absolutely fascinating. We met at the church of St. Thomas in the Fields and had coffee in the cafĂ© which is in the crypt under the church. Very nice lady.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

257/365: The Vicar

We met him on a canal boat trip up the Thames from London to Oxford. He could have stepped out of a 40s British film, he was so stereotypical. Delightful 88 year old man, who called himself the “errant vicar.” He took the cruises often and was a great source of information. But he cheated at Scrabble, which we played in the galley at night.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

256/365: Joe

He was like a father to my father, who worshipped this old Italian gentleman. I don’t remember much about him, except his sitting slouched in a chair with a cigar in his mouth, and I couldn’t understand his thick accent. He owned the building where we lived in San Francisco and was appalled when my father painted over a mural that was in the kitchen.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

255/365: Doug

I look at this man with a wife and daughter and I can’t picture the 10 year old kid who lives in my mind. Son of a friend of my parents. We would go visit them and I would try to play a game with his brother, and he was the pest who wanted to butt in. He’s turned out to be a lovely gentleman.

Monday, March 9, 2009

254/365: Laurie

Her talent could have been predicted when, at age 4, she sat at Gilbert & Sullivan performances and mouthed the words to all the songs along with the actors. Now she is a lovely woman who is probably pushing 50 and has directed opera productions all over the world, including the Met, the San Francisco Opera, and houses in Italy. I am proud she’s my friend.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

253/365: June #2

A woman from the Isle of Wight who seems to be stalking me on Facebook. I swear I get invitations for various Facebook apps 10 times a day from this women, despite the fact that I ignore every single one of them. I wonder how so many total strangers can add me to a “best friend” list when they know nothing at all about me!!

Saturday, March 7, 2009

252/365: Rachel

This beautiful redhead was about 2 years old when I first met her. Now she is a delightful, talented young woman who is on her way to making a name for herself in theater, especially in the world of opera. Her uncle, who was a musician and my best friend, would be so incredibly proud of her if he could see what she has become.

Friday, March 6, 2009

251/365: Nancy

For many years I avoided her because she made me uncomfortable, but once I got to know her I realized how much we had in common and how much I enjoyed visiting with her. I laugh a lot when we’re together. She travels a lot , so we don’t see each other that often, but it’s always a delight when we are able to get together.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

250/365: Priscilla

Known to readers of my blog as “Grandma.” She was another AIDS client and I just loved her and we became friends, but she got to where she began taking advantage of my hospitality and demanding that I drive her long distances to visit her son in prison, or her mother, who lived about 2 hours from here. I finally had to stop taking her calls.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

249/365: Mary #3

For a year or more I drove clients with HIV or AIDs to appointments. Mary was my favorite. She was the longest living AIDS patient in the group and had contracted it through transfusion. She could be very depressed, but also very nice. She was very picky about the people who drove her, but she and I hit it off right away. I miss her.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

248/365: Ester

She was the queen of the office (or acted like it). A strange little woman who could be simply wonderful, or get her feelings hurt and sulk for days, like my father. We didn’t interact too much, but mostly I enjoyed her. She reminded me of my grandmother (which would have killed her, since she was my age and very, very sensitive about getting older).

Monday, March 2, 2009

247/365: Tipper Gore

Does shaking someone’s hand qualify as “knowing them”? Tipper Gore gave a talk to a group of PFLAG people in Washington, DC and afterwards she shook hands with many of us. My friend talked to her about her gay son’s suicide. I just thanked her for coming to meet with the group

Sunday, March 1, 2009

246/365: Bill #6

The bane of my existence for so long. The man had an uncanny ability to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. And he’d stay. And stay. And stay. It was a relief when he moved across the country, but he would send voluminous (multi-page) Christmas letters. It was a relief when he stopped sending them, though I wonder what happened to him.

Saturday, February 28, 2009

245/365: A Co-worker

We worked together in three different offices and got along very well. She had her share of problems, both personal and family and she was not always easy to work with, but we could have fun together. Kind of embarrassing when she turned up as a patient for the psychiatrist I transcribed for. Fortunately she knew I would be typing her notes and didn’t mind.

Friday, February 27, 2009

244/365: Diane

Fired me. Without giving me any reason. I had only been in the job 3 or 4 weeks and had been told that everything was going very well and that they were happy with my performance. To this day I don’t know how it all changed seemingly overnight, except I suspect that her assistant’s failure to give me direction had something to do with it.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

243/365: Sally

I replaced her when she decided to move on to a new career. I have always been aware that I’m not up to her level, but I’ve made the job my own. I see her once a year at the company party. We have long chats. We’ve known each other peripherally most of the time we’ve lived in the same town. She’s a delightful person.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

242/365: The Recovering Alcoholic

This guy is the reason why you never give up on a friend. He was a practicing drunk when we met, but we became friends. He could be annoying, but also very funny and very sweet. He hit bottom, found AA and over the past many years has turned his life around. I am so proud of what he’s done and glad we remain friends.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

241/365: A Parent

Our kids were in school together. I always thought she was the most together, best mother and I felt frazzled in comparison. Many, many years later, her son was a patient of the psychiatrist I transcribed for and I had a look at her family that shocked the heck out of me. I still see her socially, but have never told her what I know.

Monday, February 23, 2009

240/365: Bill #5

A casual friend for years. I’d seen him perform on stage in Gilbert & Sullivan productions for many years and always thought he was good, but not outstanding until I recently saw some video of him doing Don Quixote in “Man of La Mancha.” and some other role from an opera. He blew me away. He was definitely born for more demanding roles than Gilbert & Sullivan.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

239/365: Sister Mary John Maurice

My 4th grade teacher. She had the habit of telling us gross “health” stories right before lunch–like the girl who took a diet pill that turned out to be a tapeworm, or the boy whose bladder burst because he wouldn’t go to the bathroom, or the guy who got a palm frond embedded in his skull by jumping up and down under a palm tree

Saturday, February 21, 2009

238/365: Irene

Fancied herself a photographer and was the official photographer of a theater group with which I worked in San Francisco. The biggest problem, though, was that most of her photos were terrible, so when we started writing a book about the company, it was very difficult to find good quality photos to use. She was a nice woman, though. Someone else who died too young.

Friday, February 20, 2009

237/365: Uncle Dave

He’s not my uncle, or my kids’ uncle, but they always called him “Uncle Dave.” Walt’s best friend and his boss. We had such great times together with his family when our kids were little. He and Walt were always planning what they would do when they were rich, which they never were. He remarried and now lives too far away, with a new family.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

236/365: Patricia

I always go to interviews terrified I’m going to sound like an idiot, especially when I’m unprepared as I was for this one. She was lovely and we had a good chat. When it was over she said “Well, that wasn’t so bad. I was really nervous about it.” I never thought that my subjects would be as nervous as I am about an interview!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

235/365: Dr. Rousseau

He was our first pediatrician, a lovely man whom we missed terribly when he left Kaiser Permanente. It was the Vietnam war era and he had a son of draftable age, so he and his family moved to an island on which they owned property in Canada. I often wondered, in the years following, what happened to him and if he was still practicing medicine.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

234/365: Paul

He had rented a room from my good friend several years before I met him. Lovely man, who had become very interested in Buddhism and was actually living in a Buddhist monastery at the time we finally met. Many, many years later he contacted me by doing a Google search for someone we both knew. It was strange hearing from him after so many years.

Monday, February 16, 2009

233/365: Kathy

We got to know each other through La Leche League and later both found ourselves involved in PFLAG. We used to meet for lunch several times a year, at Olive Garden. We attended a few San Francisco Gay Pride festivals together, but we seem to have lost touch with each other. I think she’s too involved with her grandchildren now. See her on TV occasionally.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

232/365: Mrs. Babcock

She was a little old woman who lived across the street from us when we bought our first house. I never saw her outside of the house, but she always peeked out through the curtains to watch what we were doing. She was the perfect sooky neighbor for the kids to be afraid of. I think she may have died while we were living there.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

231/365: Dr. Hine

The man gave me back my sight. After a bad diagnosis by an optometrist, fearing I was going blind, I went to see Dr. H, who diagnosed a simple cataract and scheduled surgery. The surgery restored my sight and I will be forever grateful to him. One of my memorable visions of him will be the bright blue shirt he was wearing–which I could SEE.

Friday, February 13, 2009

230/365: The Pen Pal

Suffers from many health problems, is a good writer, an OK artist, but has an odd personality. Someone I enjoy more at a distance. Once invited two of us to dinner, then sat on the floor sorting tax records and did not speak one word to me the entire evening. Most unusual night I’ve spent. But by e-mail it’s better. Good heart but weird person.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

229/365: The Teacher

Such a unique individual. A bisexual sex addict, the last person you would pick out of a crowd for such varied sexploits. A Las Vegas high roller whom I once watched lose several thousand dollars at a sitting...Can turn it around the next day and win it all back. Yet, this is a muchly loved, and awarded inner city teacher, deserving of the acclaim.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

228/365: Kari

Wonderful soprano, and I recall, a very funny person. I sang with her in choir in college. She went on to have a professional career, specializing in German leider music (or at least that was what she was singing the last concert we attended). We were sad to learn she died of cancer. We hadn’t seen her in years, but it was still a loss.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

227/365: Goiter Lady

I didn’t know her. Don’t even know her name, but my parents did. She was a neighbor. All I remember was an old lady with a big lump in her neck. But I remember that my father was furious with me the morning of her funeral because I was singing while making my bed. He felt I was showing disrespect. I didn’t even know her!

Monday, February 9, 2009

226/365: Judy #4

I was scared. We were touring the dorm where I would live in college and Judy befriended me. She suggested we be roommates and I was thrilled that I was able to get her. I found out later I was able to get her because nobody could stand her, including me! I begged someone else to take me on as a roommate the next semester.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

225/365: Harry

Everybody loved Harry. We met him through the local theater and became friends with him and his wife. Their home was always the theater party place. We were there to comfort when their daughter committed suicide. And we were there when Harry’s wife died. Our kids adored him. We never knew Harry’s secret until after he died and we discovered that he died of AIDS.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

224/365: Bob Cello

Co-founder of the Davis Comic Opera Company, head of the UC Davis Veterinary Med school. I worked with him for a few years doing publicity for DCOC. I once had the great privilege of watching him do Tevye in Fiddler on the Roof. He was the best...ever. I didn’t go to his funeral – the building was filled to capacity and I couldn’t get in.

Friday, February 6, 2009

223/365: Bob Willett

I’d never known a man who had a building named after him before. Mr. Willett was Jeri’s 6th grade teacher and one of the best there was. Every parent tried to get their kid into Mr. Willett’s class. He was a very sweet man who sometimes helped build sets for the Davis Comic Opera Co. After his death, the DJUSD renamed West Davis Intermediate School “Willett.”

Thursday, February 5, 2009

222/365: Ruth #3

We worked together in a homeless shelter. She was big and funny and I liked her instantly. I found out later her alter ego was “Granny Muffin,” who had a 15 minute TV show on local cable. I watched how much she cared for those homeless guys we worked with . I admired her greatly. Unfortunately, she was ultimately the victim of the corporate mentality

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

221/365: Ndangi

His Anglicized name is Andre and he came to us from what was then Zaire (now Congo) to spend Christmas in 1981. He spoke no English at first. Our lives have been intertwined ever since. We hosted his cousin, attended his wedding in San Francisco and he joined us for Christmas dinner for many years. He’s now the father of twins and working in California.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

220/365: The Pedophile

It was a classic case of “I can’t believe my friend would do that!” Got trapped when he showed up for a date with an under-age girl, with a condom in his pocket. Very nice guy, but it ruined him and ruined his family. We rarely see them any more. Yet he’s a sweet guy who made a bad mistake. and I do like him.

Monday, February 2, 2009

219/365: Sergio

Sergio and his wife showed up, unannounced, at 9 p.m. one night several years after he had been here as an exchange student. On their second honeymoon, they said. They stayed here a week, ate every meal here, except when I drove them around somewhere, and when they left they gave me a 25-cent trinket as a thank you. What a patsy I was!

Sunday, February 1, 2009

218/365: Tim

Tim was the UPS delivery guy in downtown Davis for years. He always wore shorts, always had a cheery greeting for everyone. He was well known and well liked by everybody who knew him. When he retired, the city renamed an alley in his honor. It is the street which runs directly behind the old police building. UPS hasn’t been the same since he retired.

Saturday, January 31, 2009

217/365: Bob #4

Bob is the most selfless, giving person I know. He is a Virgo, with all the stereotypical characteristics, but he will give you the shirt off his back if you need it. If you need help he’s there immediately without asking for anything and never asking for thanks. I’m very glad he’s in my life, even if his constant care-taking sometimes drives me to distraction.

Friday, January 30, 2009

216/365: Shirley

Shirley did it all, before her death. She’d married young, had five children, divorced, got into drugs, ran crazy for much too long, married her first cousin, hit the depths, finally got herself back on track, got into meditation, shamanism, drum circles and mysticism. Fascinating woman who died of lung cancer from a lifetime of chain smoking. She re-established strong family ties before her death.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

215/365: Ray

At 86 years young, he’s more active than I am. He plays guitar in a folk group and it’s so much fun watching him playing his guitar, singing full out and then slinging the guitar over his shoulder, bringing out his harmonica and playing that. He is really a wonderful example for people who are afraid that growing old is going to slow them down!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

214/365: Jon

Stage hand for our kids’ band, and my son-in-law’s best man. He was also the guy who introduced me to the internet. I remember the day he installed Mosaic for me and I learned I could actually download e-mail to my own computer. Then he said ‘If you like Mosaic, you’re gonna love the World Wide Web.” Boy that seems like 1,000 years ago now!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

213/365: Kewpie

Kewpie (named because she looked like a Kewpie doll) and her sister, Pinkie (really!) were part of my grandmother’s “sewing club” (to my knowledge they never sewed anything). I remember when the “sewing club” gave me a lingerie shower before I married and decided to educate me about sex. A memorable, if not entirely pleasant, party! They were nice enough, but all hated sex, apparently.

Monday, January 26, 2009

212/365: Virginia #2

I really remember almost nothing about her except that she was the mother of my classmate, Ray and that she worked for what was probably a Woolworth’s near my house. We always called the store “Virginia’s” and long after she worked there, the “five and dime,” though I suspect it was a long time since you could buy anything for a nickel or a dime!

Sunday, January 25, 2009

211/365: Dominic

I wonder whatever became of Dominic. He was one of the rich kids in my Catholic grammar school. He was always perfectly dressed, and always had lots of money to spend. He was one who always filled up his pagan baby stamp book before the rest of us, because he could buy pages of stamps instead of just one stamp, like I had to do.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

210/365: The Minister

He was a prominent religious figure in town, another patient of my boss, the psychiatrist, for many years. I always felt like a voyeur reading about his problems and struggles when his public face was so different. But that’s the problem with being a transcriptionist: you have to forget (as much as possible) all that personal stuff you learn! (It does color your opinion, though!)

Friday, January 23, 2009

209/365: Dave

One of my all-time favorite people, and one of our kids’ favorite teachers. He started a theater company for teenagers and ran it for 30 years, before his retirement. He could make kids want to give up a chunk of their summer vacation to perform Shakespeare. He’s a talented, dedicated, genuinely good man. We are so lucky to have been his friend all these years.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

208/365: Roy

“I wonder why they hired him when they had such problems with their last gay director,” my homophobic friend said. “Maybe because they looked at his professional record, his talent, and his long history with the Church,” I answered. I’m proud to call this talented musician, who was a classmate of our daughter, a good friend and recently attended his wedding to his long-term partner.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

207/365: Jim #2

He was my mother’s oldest brother and everybody loved him. I rarely saw him, but I always hoped he’d notice me, and he never seemed to. When Walt and I got married, I was thrilled when a gift came from him. It was a beat-up old dish that his alcoholic wife had gotten at some junk shop. I cried – but I still have the dish.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

206/365: Monsignor Cantwell

He seemed about 105 years old when I was in grammar school. He was the pastor of our church and said the fastest Latin Mass on record, hunched over, whispering the words as if he were afraid someone might hear him. I used to go to his early morning Mass because it was quick, to get credit with the nuns for being a “good girl.”

Monday, January 19, 2009

205/365: Tony #2

Radio personality. My favorite for many years. I finally had the opportunity to work for and with him on a big project and discovered he was as delightful as he always sounded on the radio. Later, I went to see his program and spent some time with him. What a sweet, interesting man. It’s nice when celebrities you like turn out to really be likeable!

Sunday, January 18, 2009

204/365: Betty

My mother’s lifelong friend. A Stanford graduate fiercely proud of her alma mater. So disappointed in me when I didn’t pledge a sorority. She has an opinion about everything and knows she’s right. Fastidious to the point of ridiculous. Hated Walt when she knew I was going to marry him. Unfortunately she now has Alzheimers and may not know who my mother is any more.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

203/365: Bobby

How can so many people have been so wrong about him? He came into the family as an in-law. We all loved him. He was so good with his bride and they were so much in love. He threw himself into belonging. Then suddenly one day it all snapped. He threw his wife out, set about destroying her self esteem. A bad man, after all.

Friday, January 16, 2009

202/365: Mike

We’ve had an off-again, on-again relationship, once very close, then very much on the outs for reasons I never really understood. He had a serious health crisis several years ago and we thought he might die. It seems to have softened him and I’m seeing a camaraderie between us that is very nice, but strange. It’s all e-mail; I haven’t seen him in many years.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

201/365: Ruth #2

Her first comment to me, on seeing 5 small children, was “there are a lot of them, aren’t there?” She called the city to report our dogs, and then later told me that “nobody in the neighborhood likes you.” It set the tone for my life in this house. Later, we seen to have made peace, as we have both buried adult children too soon.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

200/365: Mel

I really never knew my aunt, but she is legendary in our family. She was married thirteen times to twelve different men (#5 and #7 were the same guy). She was also the first woman in California to get her pilot’s license, worked as a nurse, a ballerina, ran AA for the last half of her life, lost a young child in an auto accident.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

199/365: LS

He was the most respected man in his field in town when I went to work for him. But his business grew and he eventually became corrupted by the power he was given. I heard recently that he had been fired, which saddens me so much because I held him in such high esteem. I’m glad I wasn’t there to see the change in him.

Monday, January 12, 2009

198/365: The Patient #2

When I was typing medical reports over some 12-15 years, I developed the ability to forget things that I typed almost immediately, but this patient was also a good friend and so all these years later, I still remember the unique foibles, though I wish I didn’t. S/he doesn’t have a clue I know but I can’t help thinking about that every time we meet.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

197/365: Leslie Jordan

I saw this diminutive actor (remember Megan Mullally’s nemesis in “Will and Grace”?) when he was performing in a play called “Southern Baptist Sissies” in Hollywood. He was very funny and I stood next to him in the lobby for awhile after the show was over. Does that count as “meeting” him? I also read his autobiography, which is a terrific book, funny and poignant

Saturday, January 10, 2009

196/365: The Actor

Our interview was the longest I’d ever conducted. Many hours of self-aggrandizement. When it was over, I had almost nothing that could be used in the project. Transcribing it took forever and scraping something together that was usable was a huge chore. In the end, I think he was very angry about what I wrote. But many years later, we seem to be friends again.

Friday, January 9, 2009

195/365: Glen

I still see him around town, riding his dilapidated bicycle, big floppy hat on his head, a bag of some sort slung over one shoulder. The father of one of the guys in the band who went to all the shows to take photos. Most of his photos were pretty bad, but thanks to Glen we have a thorough history of the band’s 10 years.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

194/365: Paula

My mother’s best friend, for the past ten years. What a delight she is. Originally French Canadian, now living in the states, with a lovely accent and the best sense of humor of anyone I’ve met in a long time. I’m so glad she’s in my mother’s life. They are like young girls together and she has started coming to family events. Everyone loves her.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

193/365: The Guru

I’d heard her name for years and thought we had met years ago, but we hadn’t until recently. She’s high powered, all-knowing and unfortunately looking down her techno-nose at those of us who aren’t up to her level. I expected to like her, but I don’t think I really did, which is too bad because our jobs threw us together too much of the time.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

192/365: Ted

I babysat for his kids. He was a jokster. At Christmas he gave me a huge beautiful box. I was so excited! When I opened it, inside was a limp stalk of celery. I wanted to cry. I didn’t realize he had hidden the REAL gift under the tissue paper and I’d thrown the box away until he asked me if I’d found the surprise.

Monday, January 5, 2009

191/365: Garlic Girl

They say garlic is good for you. I once worked with this woman, who took copious quantities of it – so much that the smell excreted through her pores. And lemme tell you, the odor of excreted garlic isn’t ANYTHING like garlic breath. I would become nauseous working with her and always had to sit by an open window. She was otherwise a nice lady, but...

Sunday, January 4, 2009

190/365: Ron Dellums

We met him at a fund raiser when he ran for his first political office in the civil rights 70s. A large, powerful looking black man with a big Afro, in photographs. How odd it was to discover that he sounded more like Michael Jackson than James Earl Jones. He’s still in politics, though now a white haired old man who makes me feel old.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

189/365: Jill

Simply delightful British immigrant, who made her living crawling around in the sewers of San Francisco (at least some of the time). I adore this woman. She has volunteered for many years for our favorite San Francisco theater company, worked as a dresser there for many years. She is now retired and has taken up watercolor painting, which seems a very “British” thing to do!

Friday, January 2, 2009

188/365: Brian

I worked with his ex-wife, whom I detested, and ran into him at a Weight Watcher meeting. He hooked me for a transcription job when I was too wimpy to say no. I did that and a year later he was back with a second one. Boring, boring, boring job. I wish I could learn how to say “no.” We’ve both regained our WW-lost weight.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

187/365: O

The bionic woman. She has lived with chronic pain all of her life, yet has led a full, productive life. We hit it off from the beginning and have been friends for several years. One of those people who fade in and out of your life and you never know when she is going to be sociable and when she wants to be left alone.