I have been feeling a mild sense of panic all day today (manic?) All I can think to do is delete, clean, put away, give away, etc. rather than the constructive mode I need to get into to get some of this work done.

On the other hand, who cares? I’m such a workaholic it gets done sooner or later, hopefully not too much later, and then some things just sit and sit and sit, and then the person dies and you don’t have a chance to visit cos you put the visit off too long….like Fred Sontag died Sunday June 14th, probably a little after I mentioned to Pat Sunday evening that I should go visit Fred.

Sigh. I thought in some ways he was grand.

When I first got to town and lived at the Harvard house, he’d pick my newspaper up from the kerb and place it at my door, and even called LA Times and told them to cellophane wrap it so that it didn’t get wet from the sprinklers! That went on for all three years I lived there, and it was months before I found out who was rescuing the paper from the sidewalk traffic. And he’d find excuses to take me out to lunch quite often during my first year here and I’d hear all about alums and what mischief and great things they got up to–he could tell a story or two. Plus he and Carol invited me to dinner at AAR that year, where I met Grant, their son—might even have been New Orleans. And sharing a concert at Little Bridges—Christmas—cos Carol couldn’t make it–I guess he knew I wouldn’t go otherwise. And he gave me books he’d written, talked to me about everything from Neoplatonic philosophy to why he was sticking up for the student who stabbed him, and I remember him saying when I was up for my Steele Leave: Use your time wisely. Fred and Carol were always singularly warm and gracious to me and I’ll miss those chats by the door to Pearson’s or in the village.

Thank you, Fred, wherever it is you are now, and I can hear you saying, Exactly where I should be, of course! with a twinkle in your eye.

Of course people passing away and on is on my mind today as we each singly, wherever we are in the world, think of Sheri. Five months today.