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.