Monday, December 08, 2003

Return of Calvin and Hobbes Petition

I'm sure it will do absolutely no good. I signed it anyway.

Speaking of lost beauty:

I'm just now back from california. I had to attend a memorial service, for my friend Dorothy.

Dorothy was a friend of the family for almost as long as I can remember. I spent a lot of time at their house, and talking to them. When Al (her husband) died some time ago, Dorothy kind of started to fade. Prior to this it was difficult to believe she had been born in 1906. She and Al were very vibrant folk, who traveled, kept up extensive property, and maintained many friends and volunteer positions. She began to show her age after the death of Al, but continued her work in local groups and friends. A local cat strayed into her house one day, and never left, she perked up a great deal after that. Sadly, this year the cat died of diabetes. Dorothy fell ill soon after, and died. The service was very nice. I will miss them both very much.

Dorothy and Al were the oldest people I knew, though I rarely thought of them this way. some people, even as young as sixty often seemed far older, weakened, unclear, pathetic. Al was maintaining his paths and property up to his death, and Dorothy was a great communicator with an excellent memory and storytelling facility, even in the hospital.

She liked to brag about her age. She once approached an ancient piano player in a restaurant to see how old he was, and informed him he had twenty years to go before he was old. She described her life as a bridge between horses and spaceships.

Al told me once that when he was a boy, children dreamed of going as far away as europe. When he was fifty, they dreamed of going to the moon. And when I was a child, in the twighlight of his life, they dreamed of going to europe. He wasn't sure what happened, but he felt that we as people were waiting for something to change, so our dreams could grow again. He wanted to see that change. Dorothy was very religious, and had her answer. But he was unsure what exactly was missing. He died wondering. She now has followed him.

Ninety-six years were not enough. She felt she had more to do, more to see, and more to experience. Despite living in the most tumultous times we have ever known, they never seemed to fear for the future. Perhaps it was my childish perception, but they seemed to grow with their age, while many adults had diminished. They seemed capable and wise, even during my teen years, when I was learning the most about frailties and mistakes, and was at my most suspicious.

Dorothy had a face-life when she was seventy, which was a daring time, even for younger, more tolerant cultures. Cosmetic surgery really has become far more acceptable as time goes on, but it was a process she never failed to recommend, but not "until you really need it" after "about sixty-five". She remained a terrible flirt, and would embarass waiters, male friends, and a certain sensitive teen with equal abandon. Dorothy and Al were the first adults I saw kissing with passion(in person, anyway).

Dorothy was particularly active in the International Society of the Kings Daughters and Sons. She even wrote a book about their history, up to 1970.

They leave behind a beautiful home north of San Francisco, with it's intricately maintained paths and trees and gardens. Sadly, the land has already been diminished by development, and will likely be sold for new housing. It was once eight acres of nature and path, which was quite something at it's inception, and had only become more so throughout the years.

To Dorothy Ellison, a good friend.

May there be one million more like her, and may the rest of us make up for all the people she had yet to enchant.

No comments: