Ben Freedman, my friend, inspiration and the co-author (with his wife Nancy) of my favorite book as a girl—Mrs. Mike-died on February 24 at the age of 92. I found out earlier this week when the New York Times obituary page called me for a quote. Here is a picture of my original copy of Mrs. Mike, which I still have, held together by scotch tape and rubber bands.
Ben and Nancy (who died in 2010) led rich, full lives—I loved going to their apartment to listen to stories of their adventures, schemes and foibles. Even in failing healthy, they were exuberant and intellectually engaged, full of plans for the future, still writing every single day.
In honor of their lives, and to mark their loss, here is a link to Ben’s obituary.
And here is a link to a piece I wrote for Oprah Magazine about what they meant to me . I’m so grateful I had opportunity to write it—and even more grateful that I could do it while they were still around to read it.
Nancy and Ben were iconoclasts, free-thinkers, the ultimate champions of the "fight fun with fun" mentality. Nancy used to reminded me, “You have to celebrate bad news. Good news, you're happy anyway, but bad news--you've got to have a great dinner and kick up your heels.”
May we all, like then, remember to kick up our heels.