On April 25 I received an e-mail from San Francisco Chronicle columnist Leah Garchick, which I answered immediately. The next day she published the question and answer in the newspaper, and I put them up on my web site as the April 26th entry. Imagine my surprise and delight to be invited to a party at Leah's home one month later!
Leah's husband, Jerry Garchik was part of Bob Treuhaft's law firm back in the 'seventies, and both are fond of Bob, so, when they threw a party celebrating the engagement of their son, Sam, to Jennifer Hemmingsen, Bob was invited. I just happened to be in the right place at the right time.
I wish I had thought to bring my digital camera, because you would have loved every room of their home. It is a live-in collage of found objects. In the kitchen, an entire wall of old eggbeaters, collanders, measuring cups. In the bathroom, antique black and white group photos, some of the musician's union. Concertinas--Leah played them for me very charmingly--at least three of them on the piano. A collection of photos of women with their dogs--one was certainly Gertrude Stein. Rubber scary animals above the stove--centipede, tarantula, snake biting a mouse. Why have one menorah when you can have ten? Why have one collection when you can have a hundred? I could have lost myself in their walls for days.
The back yard was similarly productive of altered states--the sort of lush jungle one least expects in a major city, overlooked by a rounded deck surrounded by, of course, a collection of antique bannister poles. The Garchik sense of visual humor is persistent and rich.
Leah created another vast collection for the event--homemade desserts, more than a dozen, at least, including homemade ice cream. Bob and I looked at each other ruefully, knowing that, after the dinner the night before at Chez Panisse, neither of us could make any sensible use of this bounty, other than to be impressed with Leah's talents and generosity. The other thirty or so guests were not as inhibited, and sighs of delight punctuated the animated discussion among friends.
The ceremony is to take place in a cornfield near Albert Lea, Minnesota in June. I gathered the bride and groom out on the jungle deck and sang them my wedding song, "Family To Me". They cuddled and wept. I promised to send a CD in time for the wedding.