Lost Friends


Remembering these dear people makes me think about the traits that drew me to each of them. There was passion in their embrace of life, love for family, and an innate goodness of character. No wonder I've felt richened by their passage through my life.

Edith


EDITH FELBER (EDITH LAYTON):
1936 - June 1, 2009

Edith was one of those sprites of the air who created joy and laughter wherever she went. We met through her books, but the author very quickly became the friend. At the time I took early retirement from IBM Research, I looked at the web first as a way to put together a multimedia resume. It wasn't long at all before I began to think of the web as a canvas on which I could express myself. Having time on my hands, and being more than a little compulsive by nature, I offered Edith a website for the joy of giving her a place of her own. It was through those intense days of design that we learned to know and value one another.

From then on, I was always trying to suck Edith into my enthusiasms, and I usually was successful. Within my stained glass site, we added pages for Edith's lamps and Edith's windows. And there was even a page of Edith's beautiful philosophy underlying the art we both so loved.

My serious attempt to understand how the old sayings of grandmother's ("two wrongs don't make a right") helped create the adult I became was turned once again into humor with Edith's contributions of her own childhood memories ("Your eyes will stick if you cross them that way.").

Edith and I kept up and expanded her website from 1997 to 2005. My initial thought had been to make a site for her of perhaps 15 pages, but that estimate soon doubled, and then tripled. But enthusiasms will out, and the site ended up being over 150 pages. In 2005 Edith turned to a new literary agent and a professional web designer. Her new site is beautiful, though I'll always love the wonderful and funny site she and I created together. I've skeletonized some of that site to recapture her charming conversations with her fans, as well as her inside memories of her books.

Edith's Writing in Her Old Site
Online Conversations with Edith
Edith on 'Friends' page

Edith's Current Site
Word Wenches Words for Edith

Eileen Sherman Gillespie Slocum


EILEEN SHERMAN GILLESPIE SLOCUM:
December 21, 1915 - July 27, 2008

Meeting Eileen was one of the marked days of my life, not because of her position in the world, which I didn't know until later, but because she was the first person I had met, since searching for information on my father, who carried my father's blood. My eyes were wet in those first moments, and I loved her on sight.

Eileen shared my passion for genealogy, although for different reasons. I was trying to find myself through finding out what my father's genes had brought to me. Eileen was passionately devoted to her family - past, present and future. It was a tradition in her family to name children for ancestors, so the more she knew about those long-dead people, the more gifts of tradition she had to offer her grandchildren. She did think that one of the names she would not suggest was that of her 6th great grandmother, Freelove Arnold.

Memories of Eileen

Providence Journal Wake
Providence Journal Obituary
A Glimpse At Rhode Island Aristocracy
Behind the Hedgerow Documentary
Interview with G. Wayne Miller

Documentary on Eileen

Rene Majerski


RENE MAJERSKI:
1918 - May 2006

My website has always been baited with multiple hooks so that old friends swimming past might find themselves caught up in shared memories. In 1999, Dennis was one such catch. We were raised next door to one another in Chicago, and I adored him from the time I was 6 and slept with his picture under my pillow. He was 4.

Dennis' mother was my second mother. While my own mother worked, I was raised by grandmother. I saw Rene as the epitome of a young and beautiful stay-at-home mother, who had the energy to create a wondrous environment for her two children. The exquisite cartoons she would draw on the blackboard in Dennis' room awes me to this day. And she was kind enough to spend some of that energy on me, as well.

It was wonderful to discover that Rene was still alive so many years after I'd lost my own mother. It gave me a chance to let Rene know how much I appreciated her for all the kind things she'd done for me over all those long ago years, and for just being the lovely person she was. I feel quite blessed to have exchanged calls and letters with Rene as an adult, and my heart goes out to Dennis and Terry over the loss of the mother who loved them so much.

Childhood Photos
Dennis graduating Coast Guard Academy
Terry playing baseball


a young Brian Richard Boylan


BRIAN RICHARD BOYLAN:
December 11, 1936 - November 17, 2005

How can you not love a literary agent who says he fell in love with you from your query letter?

When I left IBM Research on early retirement, I took some of their retraining money and went off for an adventure in a summer workshop in Maine on writing movie scripts. It was love from the first minute of lecture. Next to my literary music videos, scripts were the most elegant, constrained and exciting form in which I had ever worked. I was hooked.

So I wrote my first movie script in six weeks, spent another two weeks writing a query letter, and then scattershot the agency world. Sixteen agents asked to read the script; six offered to represent it.

I didn't choose Brian.

And that was the start of our friendship.

Memories of Brian
Conversations with Brian
Brian on 'Friends' page




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