Last night we invited over for dinner Kristin Stombres, who is the daughter of the estimable Jo Leidig. Not too long after we moved in here in Geneva, Jacqi met Jo and brought her over to meet me, since Jacqi realized that Jo and I had mutual backgrounds in theatre. We became fast friends, and had her over many times for dinner and conversation.
Jo was unfailingly kind, warm, gentle and really came to think of herself as surrogate parents for Jacqi and me. Indeed, when Jacqi’s mom died, J and I were on a cruise. Jo stepped in to help with baby-sitting our little grandkids and allowed our daughter Cara to sit with Clara and sing her into heaven. I could cite so many examples, but her courage–especially in the last days of her life–was exemplary in its wisdom and calm. I think that Jo’s faith was the central point in her life.
Jo lived three houses away from me. A very nice couple with a youngster have moved in and they will be fine neighbors, quiet, responsible and happy. I could not be more delighted to have them as neighbors. Still, every night as I give the dogs their final walk, I go by JO’s place and cannot help but wonder if she’s home. No, of course she isn’t, at least at that house. Still, I know she’s entered her real house justified and it makes me happy.
Today I took Dick ‘Ta-Da’ Baran with me to the show and we talked about our books: 2 of mine, one of his. It was indeed a pleasure to visit with Barb and preview our books. I have to go back again and talk about this summer’s (mostly dreadful) movie crop. But in the fun I had, and have always had doing the show, I mostly missed her.
To end on a better note, Dick and I spent some time teasing back and forth as friends do. I gave him this introduction: ‘When I first went to Wheeling High School in 1978, I met this tall, handsome, wise individual: beloved by the students, admired by the rest of the faculty, and on good terms with the school’s administration. He’s the guy who introduced me to Dick.’ I got a good laugh. See you tomorrow.