Saturday, April 1, 2017

#AtoZChallenge: Address Books

            Have you ever found an old address book and looked through it, trying to remember who all those people are who you bothered to keep their addresses and phone numbers? I found one today, back at least 40 years. The A pages are missing, and only two names on the B page, which since it has no B tab means there’s a B page missing too. But I know who those two people are.
            Dr. L. (Lucille?) R. Burns was an ophthalmologist who worked with the eye doctor I normally saw. I think I saw her for some eye problem related to my contact lenses, but no longer remember what it was. She was extremely conservative, and when I found a new eye doctor and asked her for my medical records, she said they were her property and she wouldn’t give them to me. This seemed weird, but I didn’t know what the law was so didn’t fight it. I think it was sometime in the mid-’70s.
            The other B name is Connie Bacher, Connie Callanan Bacher to be exact. She was in my freshman hall at Antioch College, and then roommate in the summer of 1961. At the time of the address book, she was married to a tax lawyer named Don Bacher, and they were living in Guildhall, Vermont; later they moved across the river to Littleton, New Hampshire, where Don became a liberal gadfly, suing the town for putting up an enormous cross on a hillside overlooking his and Connie’s house. We are still in touch; she divorced Don and moved to India to live in a community with a swami. My daughter and her younger daughter went to the same camp one summer, and now both are librarians.
            In the Cs is Ann Constable, who I knew from women’s liberation, most likely New York Media Women, since she worked at Time. But then there’s Norma Clark Budetti, in Wichita, Kansas. This must be someone from Jack’s life, but as he’s no longer here to answer my question, she remains forever unknown. Also a “Cat-lady” ("Marilyn’s friend"; but who’s Marilyn?).
            In the ’70s there was Dial-a-Demonstration (disconnected in 1970, or 1976? can’t read my handwriting), Dial-a-Radical, and Dial-a-Recipe (in 1972). Did I ever call one of those numbers? Dr. Leo Dienstag was our primary doctor until 1992, when he retired. Norm Danzig was a young man in my therapy group in the early 1970s. Catherine De Angelis was one of Christie’s pediatricians; we went through a series of them. One was too far away in the Village, another thought fruit was like lollipops for toddlers, and shouldn’t be fed to them. Dr. Marvin Eiger was one of them, and he also had what seemed like peculiar ideas: fresh squeezed orange juice, not orange juice from the grocery store, and don’t take your baby on the subway.
            I’m not going to go all the way through the alphabet of the address book here, but I am going to see how many others from that period of my life I still remember.

            I just learned about this writing challenge, to write on my blog every day in April on a topic derived from letters of the alphabet, in order. Here's my first one.

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