Wednesday, November 14, 2012

sad news

Sad news: Diane Hammer was something of a Mean Girl, but was also my favorite friend when I was 8, 9, 10 years old. We went to the same bungalow colony, and then to the same summer camp, although by the time we were at the same camp, she was blowing me off. Still, I hero-worshipped her when we were friends, and was fascinated by her even after. I loved her family; her father introduced me to the Marx Brothers. I watched the first moon landing at her family's bungalow (we didn't have a TV in ours).

I ran into her mother about 20 years ago, and she gave me Diane's address, but I couldn't figure out how to start writing a letter to her. Diane was very unsentimental. Five or so years ago, I saw her father's obit in the Times (he was a fairly well-known psychoanalyst), and a couple of years ago, I found her brother Cary on Facebook. Cary was not speaking to Diane; apparently they had clashed over their mother, Lila's, care and property, and according to Cary, Diane had threatened him.

Before and after I got in touch with Cary, I frequently Googled Diane just to find out about her. Too many Diane Hammers out there, and none was the right one. I was doing it again yesterday, and took a look at Manny's obit again, and noticed the mention of his "daughter-in-law, Patty" (this was in addition to the name of Cary's wife, so I knew it had to be Diane's partner). So I Googled "Diane Hammer Patty" and got smacked with Diane's obit. I messaged Cary on Facebook (we really haven't kept in touch); don't know if he'll have anything to say.

Having said all that - I'm still sad that I'll never see Diane again, no chance to re-meet, reconcile, talk about days gone by.

Knowing the Hammer family changed the lives of all of my family in a lot of ways, but that's for another day...

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