In Loving Memory
Luis sent me this recap of Laurel's funeral today and he asked me to share it with her friends...
I had the privilege of knowing Laurel for over thirty years. When I first met--------------------------------
I broke down once, and the entire time, my voice went into a tremolo. I could barely breathe, but I said what I came to say, and many people consoled me afterwards. Thanks to the encouragement of many of you, I got through this.
A woman and her daughter, that had been very close to Laurel, whom I know well, Mrs. Blount, recalled when Laurel wished she could have been part of her family, and said how she wished she could have been Laurel's mother.
Mr. Walters, her neighbor, cried, and said :Laurel was a beautiful human being.
Her Aunt Irene told the story of the day Laurel was born.
I could not take my eyes off the pine box that held what could die of Laurel. The rest lives on inside each and every one of our hearts. Please remember Laurel in deeds, not just words. Be kind.
The funeral was beautiful. I am on my way to a reception at the Synagogue. I leave you with three Laurel stories, which a kind soul asked me for:
The memory of her keeping an eye on the security guards while nestling/posing like a fetus in the Miro, which is across from Daley Plaza, with zillions of people walking by would be one.
I'll cheat and add the time that we went to a Civil War re-enactment two decades ago, with Lydia, my wife. We had smoked pot on the way there, and were so giddy. It was a cloudless hot day, we were in deepest redneck country, and Laurel kept saying how she did not want to walk in the sweltering heat, and wanted to get close-in handicap parking. There were tons of people getting out at the regular lot, and walking on this wide grassy trail.
I said, (knowing better) "that road must lead to the capper parking". Laurel pointed her silver toyota (aka "Steely Dan") into it, and we drove past hundreds of people walking on it, loud music playing and we laughing and joking about the whole thing. Suddenly, there was a clearing, and Laurel drove right into a meadow. On oneside sat the Confederate Army, on the other, the Union Army, both complete with cannons, rifles, bayonets, ready to go. We were in the middle!
It was such a surreal Monty-Python moment that we sat there and howled. An angry official came up scowling, and Laurel rolls down the window and says: "I'm looking for handicap parking" and points to her permit. The guy rolled his eyes, and steered us to the side of the battlefield. As we got out of the car, a guy said "Must be some fucking VIPs", we bit our lips bloody and did not dare glance at each other for fear of ROTFL.
Ok, there are too many....one more. It was the day I took that picture of her with the Sombrero that people have up. She was maybe 19, living in an apt north of here, with a tragically hip and beautiful psycho-roomie named Dawn (who was quite the character) and a crazy Siamese named Claude. We went somewhere to eat, hug out with Dawn, played Boggle, Scrabble, I had brought one old Nikon with very slow film in it, and Dawn and Laurel were being very funny. I was sitting on a recliner, and Claude, who was nuts, and wanted to roughhouse ALL the time (Laurel-trained!), kept begging to play and scratch the bejeezus out of me, kept circling my chair like a shark, stalking me.
Suddenly, he sprung up, seized my arm with his legs and arms, and lightly bit (not breaking skin) and clawed me fiercely just as Laurel came out and modeled the sombrero around the room.
Claude leapt off after satiating his killer instincts on my poor right arm. EVery photographer is an emissary from the future, and ,my 6th sense told me this was a moment to grasp. I grabbed the camera, and made ONE exposure, guessing the light from experience (no time to meter) and that was how that photograph and her smile came to be.
(The Great) Aldo Pepper