Monday, April 10, 2017

Spring reborn

Searching for spring in Central Park. 2:45 PM. Photo: JH.
Monday, April 10, 2017. Beautiful early Spring weather both Saturday and Sunday, with temperatures rising in the bright sunshine up to the high 60s. Overnight the buds of the trees began to sprout.
On the long drive back from Woods Hole, Mass. to New York on Saturday afternoon following the memorial for my sister. It was a beautiful day, too beautiful to be on I-95. With the willing assistance of JH at the wheel, I felt compelled to remember this trip somehow. Thinking of my late wonderful big sister, these clouds reflected something peaceful and clear and beautiful on an open road to somewhere else.
The Long Short Weekend, Part I. I was driving up to Woods Hole Friday afternoon to attend a memorial service for my late sister Helen who died last December 8th, when a friend sent a message that John Jakobson had died suddenly from complications from pneumonia.

John, who had a long and successful career on Wall Street, was 86 — which is a later age. Although he had no “age” about him: he didn’t look like a young man or an old man. One of the real Best Dressed men in New York, he looked like the sophisticated, sharp, and kindly man that he was.
John and Joan.
From the old school of Common Sense, he wore his mode of style with the same elegant eye that Cary Grant and Fred Astaire possessed: understated snazzy with dash. I emphasize this because he was the man whom clothes made, and vice versa. He also told the best jokes; a storyteller, with the recollection of a seasoned reporter. When he got to the denouement, it was passed off without self-applause — while the listeners had their laugh.

I never knew how John and Joan met and married. Both had been married before, (John and his first wife art coellector and museum trustee Barbara Jakobson had three children) and had a daughter in her first marriage, then Joan and John a son. They had many friends, separately and together. They were a team couple; both getting along famously with people. Because they genuinely like people. So ends a beautiful chapter in their lives, and now in Joan’s. A great loss, and ours too.
John with his good friend Philip Kingsley, who also left us late last year.
We Get Mail. Last Tuesday’s Diary was about a luncheon that Bill Rudin and his sister Beth Rudin DeWoody hosted in honor of the 90th anniversary of their father Lew Rudin’s birth. Lew was a great friend to many, a prominent real estate owner, philanthropist, and all-around good guy. Last Wednesday, we received this message from a reader named Peter Talbert. With Mr. Talbert’s permission, we share it with you:

Saw your piece on Lew Rudin's 90th birthday celebration, and it reminded me of a story about him.

He and my father (Bill Talbert, himself a famous tennis player back in the amateur days of the game) and I were playing golf out at Deepdale, a somewhat exclusive course out on Long Island. My father and I were hitting on the practice range to warm up. Lew was there but he never hit a ball as he was on his phone trying to close on a real estate deal that suddenly needed his attention.

When we moved to the first tee to begin play, Lew was still on the phone. Asked if he wanted to drop out of the game, he said no, and dropped the phone to the ground, hit his drive and resumed his conversation, not missing a beat. He proceeded to do this for the next 18 holes, never hanging up. On the green, he putted with the phone lodged between his shoulder and ear, talking or listening continuously.

I don't remember what he scored that day, but the man was the picture of concentration and sporting ingenuity. When we had showered, had a drink and headed to our car for the return to Manhattan, we left him still on the phone. He had been on at that point for over 5 hours! Amazing. — Peter Talbert
Lew Rudin, the picture of concentration.

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