Marian Walker 1911 – 2007

My friend Marian died today, a couple of hours ago actually. I’m not gonna say she passed away or left us, she had no use for euphemisms of any sort. Marian was 96 and had an appreciation for books that exceeded anyone I have ever met. She had certainly read more books than anyone, and better ones too. Her favorite authors were Robertson Davies, Peter DeVries and George Macdonald Fraser – and she could recite entire passages of poetry she had memorized when she was in grade school – back in the day when school kids did such things. She was addicted to blood thirsty mysteries and dense history and furiously hated George W Bush. These last 15 years her eyes had failed her and she was surviving on a diet of NPR and audiobooks. Her other mad passion was opera, she could remember ever time she heard Sherrill Milnes or Joan Sutherland. She did what she could to rub off on me over the years – the love of books took, but the opera not so much. Marian lived in the apartment next to mine since the 70s and people always assume we were related in some way, as she had outlived anyone save for distant relations. I always just told them the truth: “She came with the house.”

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