Saturday, May 30, 2009

Remembering Don Emblen; 1918 - 2009

It had been two years that I had not talked with or written to Don. This is a letter I wrote to my dear friend last December 15th, 2008. I knew he was getting close to transitioning - 90 years on a body is quite the achievement. He died on April 24th from heart failure while reading.

Dear Don and Linda,

Another year has passed and we are all still alive and healthy, it appears. Don, you will be 90 next year, I think? Amazing. What is the secret to long life, my friend? You must tell us in the Rejoinder - each month another tidbit about your life and how you have lived it so well.

Michael and I are living a good life in these mountains close to Tularosa. I have many friends in that area and often think of you when I visit them. I often think of you anyway, as I rummage through all the old writings and lessons from your English classes years ago. My collection of songs, articles, stories, poems and ramblings keeps growing. Lots of fodder for a big fire one day. I’ve been writing for the internet of late. Do you have a computer yet, or still holding out? Would love to correspond via email, but I understand why you choose to stay out of cyberspace. It is addicting. I’m in it constantly, developing various sites and posting articles about this and that. So why don’t I write you more often. Dunno. Really.

I’ve had a book on my shelf for a year that I finally read. It is Daughter of Fortune by Isabel Allende. I love her work. It is laced with history, magic, folklore, deep insights about the human condition and heroic characters who bubble up from her spicy soup. Daughter describes the unlikely life of Eliza Sommers, adopted child of a wealthy brother and sister household where she learns to be a Lady and a great cook in the kitchen of her nanny, Mama Fresia. She grows up too fast and follows a lover to the Gold Rush mania in northern CA. We discover much about the years of insatiable greed that permeated the newly acquired American soil from a Latino viewpoint, and also Chinese, as Eliza and Tao Chi’en, her surprise companion, become very close. I thought often of where this country is today, and the institution of Greed that has corrupted every facet of government and corporate operations since America’s inception. There is a very visible line from then to now, and the collapses of today’s institutions were inevitable given the fractional reserve lending practices made legal with the Federal Reserve Banking system in 1913. I stray from the book - it is very timely reading; a historical fiction that keeps one turning the pages.

I look forward to my Rejoinders, so many snippets of wit and wonder. I appreciate the article about “to vet” and how its meaning has morphed with the times. I wonder how “guys” came to mean a group of men and women. Even the president-elect uses “guys” to describe his girls, and crowds. It still irks me to hear it used like that. I was severely reprimanded for addressing a group as “guys” when I first started waiting tables 20 years ago. It was not polite. It is so prevalent now the jabs in my side are lessening - but it just doesn’t seem right!

Do have a most wonderful Holiday Season. You are forever in my heart.

Love, Health and Happiness, Susan

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