Today is my dear friend Mary Ellen's birthday. I guess I met her when she used to go Scottish Country Dancing with Dennis at the Noe Valley Ministry off 24th Street. She had been a professional modern dancer in New York in the seventies. Mary Ellen was part of the "Gang of Four" (along with Debbie Cornue and Joan Marsh) when Dennis was chair of the every member canvas committee at Grace Cathedral many years ago. Originally from West Virginia, she is a special friend to now retired Episcopal Bishop William Swing, also from West Virginia.
Mary Ellen has lived again in New York for several years. She was a volunteer chaplain/counselor to survivors and families of victims from 9/11 at ground zero. Despite the distance, we talk regularly and see each other several times a year.
Mary Ellen went with me to New Haven for the Spizzwinks(?) 95th Reunion last April, and came out to San Francisco to help me prepare for my 60th birthday party. She made two lamb cakes with our good friend Deb Cornue (cakes in the shape of sheep, because that's what my Mother made for me as a child since her family was in the woolen business, and I was born the day before Easter -- one was white with coconut for wool, the smaller was chocolate to represent a black sheep-- no comment!) In addition she polished most of my silver hollowware-- at least all that I displayed.
Last year Mary Ellen came out to visit from the 4th of July through her birthday. She was concerned about me. She wanted me to set up an appointment with my cardiologist, get on the schedule for an internal defibrillator implant, take anti-depressants and see a therapist again. I guess she batted a thousand!
Mary Ellen Blizzard is a talented writer, and has been a wonderful support to me. I wish Mary Ellen well on HER day and always!