I’d been reading Leila’s writing for a while before I realized that her family had become part of the Sequoia community. Because I’d decided that we were like-minded after reading what she’d had to say, I thought it was pretty lucky for me that now our kids were going to be at the same school. So, I figured out who she was and introduced myself. She was open and cheerful and joked about her changing look due to hats and wigs, instantly putting me at ease. We had many friendly encounters during the year.
At the school’s pancake breakfast last spring I took this photo and sent it to her. She wrote back right away with not just a quick thanks, but with this message:
“I love it! There’s something about the pancake breakfast that just makes me really happy. School kitchen with working stove, real dishes & cutlery, Dads busy – and that the club is seventy years old! It’s the best of American community life. I was a childless bohemian for so long that this sort of thing feels like a buried part of our past recovered and refurbished. My kids just adore these school events, too. It’s old-fashioned fun at bargain prices.”
I didn’t know Leila very well, or for very long, but I wanted to. I am very sorry for her family’s loss.