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.