My Aunt Sandy died on Friday. After she retired, her health deteriorated. It makes me angry that such an active person was not able to enjoy her final years on her terms.
I owe much to her personally and culturally. She gave me a lot, took me on my first plane trip to D.C. when I was 12 and a bigger jerk than I am now. She should have left me there. She made time for me just to talk adult things, turned me on to a good portion of my music collection, got me tickets to The Rolling Stones and The Who, backstage passes to Aerosmith, Cats and so much more. Geez, there were things we outgrew and lost like the “God Save The Kinks” t-shirts she gave us, or the vinyl Yellow Submarine tablecloth.
She’s been a very important part of my life for as long as I can remember. Her own life was amazing. She worked as the office glue for the entertainment industry for 50 years. From the Brill Building, Capitol Records, RCA, Atlantic, Geffen, Dreamworks, an EGOT and SONY it was a wild career that she worked at with amazing professionalism. She was called a “Paragon of discretion” by a household name and I’m seeing the respect and love her colleagues had for her on social media today. Yes, she was cool as all that.
It’s quite touching to learn about this part of her life as she rarely went into detail. She’d tell me that, “George Clooney came into the building, nice man very handsome.” Or, “Woody came into my office because he wanted to use it in one of his movies, all he said to me was when he asked if the air conditioning could be turned off.” “Had lunch with Andy Partridge, brilliant man.” And I’d be, please go on. Really, really wanted her to write it down and unless there’s a diary in her belongings, I think a lot of those stories are lost - which is a damn shame.
As her health wavered a lot of people looked after her. It was frustrating for me as I was far away and have my own challenges here. So the work and care of so many family and friends is gratefully appreciated.
Her services are Saturday in New Hyde Park, and she is going to be buried in the plot with her parents.