There have always been women in my life and I have always been grateful for them. I've talked of those from my decade with Weight Watchers and Our Weigh. In my teens there were Susan Schwartz, Roselyn Giordano and Gloria Koenig and in my 20s it was Mary May, Durinka, Gonzales and, at the beginning of my 30s, Addie Kaplan and Joan Endel. There were 3 other ladies of the many who are and will always be part of my life.
I won't talk much about Gene though there is a lot I can say but I don't think she would want me to and I have a tremendous respect for this smart woman. We have now been friends for over 43 years though I don't remember the last time we actually saw each other. I don't see any reference to her in my last 3 New York trips but for some reason I remember we did get together. Gene and I don't exchange gifts but if we see something we feel the other would like it goes in the mail. At one crucial point she helped me financially for which I will always be grateful and another time she said something to me that started my life to change. I was working in Memphis and had written her that I was working 24/7 for Weight Watchers and I loved it, that it was my life. She simply asked, "And what if there was no Weight Watchers?" It got me thinking so I really wasn't panicked when a few years later there wasn't.
Sue Dunne also taught me an important lesson. Her dream in life was to retire from her regular job and open an antique shop on 3rd Avenue. Aside from raising a child as a single mother she put a few dollars away for that dream. At the age of 62 she retired from her job as an accountant and manager for one of New York's upscale restaurant at One Fifth Avenue, found the store location, got it set up, got her first Social Security check and died of a heart attack 3 days later. Don't put off doing things you want to do--I see it here where so many old folks bemoan the fact they didn't travel when they were young and had the energy or their money hadn't been eaten up by medical expenses.
I just want to quote some things from my diary to give you an example of what kind of woman Sue was.
"September 27, 1983 Sue picked us up at the theatre, after we saw "Torch Song Trilogy", with a chauffeured limo and we went to the Stage for a bite to eat--then to 1/5th for dessert and afterwards went to the "Boysbar" that Sue's friend Richard owns and then she sent us to the hotel by the limo--I took a walk around Times Square--VERY SEEDY AND SLEAZY"
"September 28, 1983 Sue really topped off the evening with another limo--I know she is unhappy with her weight and uses limos because unless she could get a checkered cab she wouldn't be able to fit in it."
"September 29, 1983 Sue had a limo pick us up at the hotel to meet her at Marchi's--regarding the check, which I was going to pick up, Sue said she still had a deposit there from her birthday party and that they would apply it to the bill--I paid the difference which didn't come to that much--after the dinner Sue took the limo up to the Polo where we were going to meet her as we decided to walk from 31st to 52nd after that dinner--Tommy, Chuck, Bill and I continued on our way after Bob took off on 46th street to go back to the hotel. The Polo was a piano bar and Sue's friend Bob was playing there--I bought everyone a round, cruised the bartender and Sue brought over a good looking, sexy Brazilian she introduced me to--sadly he wasn't sober and I couldn't handle drunks anymore now that I wasn't drinking--even though Sue offered them the limo Tommy and Chuck took a cab back to the hotel.
"September 30, 1893 Sue, knowing that we were spending the day walking around the Village, suggested we stop at the Li-Lac, a chocolate store on Christopher Street--unknown to me another friend of Sue's owned the place and told him to send a duplicate of whatever I bought and send it to me in Fort Lauderdale."
"October 1 and 2, 1983 "We, Bill, Tommy, Chuck and I, went to see the first matinee performance of "La Cage Aux Folles" after opening on Broadway and we met Sue at Keane's for dinner--she picked up the check and the next day we went to 1/5th where Sue insisted there was no check. After brunch Sue offered us a limo to take us to the airport but Chuck and Tommy had already left and with Bill and I having 2 hours before we had to go to the airport we decided to stroll around the Village. I kissed Sue goodbye."
Sue was generous to all her friends and wanted nothing in return except her little antique shop and her friends. She is still missed by many all these years later.
I was also going to talk about Eleanor but it would make this post too long so
TO BE CONTINUED