This slice is from 50 years ago yesterday and the day before. December 1 was the birthday of my boss at Bobbs-Merrill, Bob Ockene. The next day he died, from acute leukemia, usually the childhood version of leukemia.
I knew Bob only four months. When I interviewed with him for the job as his secretary, I noticed that one of his books had been written by Milton Kotler, who was married to my college friend Janet. He was friends with Robin Morgan, who came by the office shortly before she went off to the women’s liberation demonstration against the Miss America contest in early September. I don’t know whether he’d already been diagnosed with leukemia when I started working for him or that only happened in those four months. He was working almost until the day he died. Only later did I learn that he was one of the founder of the Yippies.After Bob died, I was promoted to associate editor and took over the books he had been handling, including one of the first women's liberation anthologies, "The New Women: A Motive anthology on women's liberation," edited by Joanne Cooke and Charlotte Bunch.. For quite a while, I could only write a work letter if I pretended I was my own secretary—and I never got my own secretary.
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