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    Bridge Ladies Sometimes I think a meteor could strike the earth and wipe out mankind with the exception of my mother’s Bridge club — Roz, Bea, Bette, Rhoda, and Jackie — five Jewish octogenarians who continue to gather for lunch and Bridge on Mondays as they have for over fifty years. When I set out to learn about the women behind the matching outfits and accessories, I never expected to fall in love with them. This is the story of the ladies, their game, and most of all the ragged path that led me back to my mother.
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Hear Me Singing Through Those Tears

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Over the summer, one of my best and oldest friends (and clients) took his life. Though he suffered with addiction over the course of his life, I never suspected that he would end it. On the contrary, he was always reminding me when I was going dark that something wonderful could be just around the corner. Right now, it’s hard to fathom that corner without him. George was exceptional in every way. As a writer, as an editor, wit, and friend. I always said he was the most wicked and kindest person I knew. His blue pencil was fierce, exacting, demanding. He was after excellence and seriousness and razzle-dazzle. He put many writers on the map and the bestseller list. As a writer, he was elegant, funny, always pushing himself to make the sentences ring. He loved his readers, wanted to please them. Spoke at hundreds of books clubs and library events and readings. If they built it, he would come. And every time I went, I watched him take the room of people and put them squarely in the palm of his hand. Treat yourself to a copy of Bettyville and hang out with my friend for a few hours. You’ll be richly rewarded.

Love you, George.

 

27 Responses

  1. What an enormous loss. I’m so sorry.

  2. Oh, no! I am so sorry. I was looking forward to reading future books. Such a shame.

  3. Oh, no! I am so sorry. I was looking forward to reading future books. Such a shame.

  4. Sorry to hear about your friend. A part of you is gone and I hope your memories bring some comfort.
    “Night Falls Fast” by Kay Redfield Jamison is an insightful book about suicide.

  5. I’m so sorry for your loss Betsy. I read and enjoyed Bettyville when you recommended here awhile back.

  6. Besty, I’m so sorry.

  7. How sad. It’s crazy how someone with the fulness of life and love within can also hold a black hole of emptiness at the same time.
    If youre a hugger i offer you a squeezy loving hug. 💕

  8. i’m so sorry, Betsy.

    rea

  9. I’m so sorry to hear about your friend, Betsy. Suicide often has a way of making the death of a loved one even more tragic and bewildering, more everything. I hope you can still see something wonderful around the corner.

  10. This was such a loss, no doubt. I’m sorry.

    Got my copy of Bettyville when you posted about it – read it, and loved every single bit of it. I laughed at the interactions between him and his mother. Cried at the end. One of the best memoirs around.

    Having lost my own mother a couple weeks ago, I think it’s time to revisit George and Betty. I think it will be even better the second time around.

    Heartfelt condolences to you. Rest easy, George.

  11. Deeply sorry for your loss, Betsy, and for all who knew and loved him.

  12. I’m Sorry For Your Loss. My Mentor, Lucie Brock-Broido, Passed At Age 60 From Brain Cancer, Which Killed My Two Of My Siblings, Another To Lupus. For Best & Worst I’ll Never Have A Mentor Like LBB Again. “if Only I Could Hang On/And Just Be Her Friend/I Still Can’t Remember/All The Best Things She Said.”~~~Here Is One: “When A Woman Tells You She’s A Bitch, ALWAYS Believe Her.”~~~(She Was Including Herself.)****Sean X.

  13. We never know what labors in a person’s soul. I’m deeply sorry for your loss of a magnificent friend and the world’s loss of a writer whose work was funny, piercing and wise. Thank you for introducing Bettyville to us – it is a gift I continue to share with others. His words live on. We are still in the palm of his hand.

  14. Betsy, I am sorry for your loss, and ours.

  15. I, too, was a personal friend of George. I would like to witness to the beauty and accuracy of every jot and Tittle in this posting.

  16. What a beautiful, shining tribute. Thank you for sharing your love of him so openly. Take good care of your heart.

  17. He was a lovely man. I adored “Bettyville” and appreciated all his suggestions on what to read. What a loss for all who got the chance to meet him.

  18. So very sorry for your loss. THIS – “he was always reminding me when I was going dark that something wonderful could be just around the corner.” We all need to be that for those in our lives. You just never know who is struggling, as we learn to put on our “happy” faces at a young age.

  19. Last year, at about this same time, one of my friends decided that she, too, had no other option but to end her life. A more gentle, artistic soul has never breathed air, nor struggled so desperately against a draconian medical system which just couldn’t seem to help her. Please know that there are many who understand the depth of your grief and share your sense of helplessness against the stealth of suicide. And you are a good friend to be honest about his death, as bringing more openness about suicide may save another.

  20. Beautiful tribute, Betsy.

  21. None of us knows the darkness which hovers over those we love, care about and admire. We often don’t even recognize it in ourselves. So sad that another amazing voice is gone. Thankful though that so much of it remains.

    As FRANK said, “so sorry for your loss and ours.”

  22. Oh, Betsy. I’m so sorry to read this news. What a loss—for you and for so many others.

    What a year of tremendous grief you’ve suffered.

    Sending much love your way.

  23. Heart-wrenching doesn’t cover this loss. I wish he knew what power was in his writing! The power of humor, compassion & life changing. I wish I could have given some back to him when he needed it! 💔

    Jeanie
    http://www.tixlady.com

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