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.