Saturday, January 26, 2008

Harriet Joan

This evening was a goodbye and a beautiful celebration of the life of an amazing woman and friend.
Harriet Joan Ehrlich was a phenomenal woman. A fighter for civil rights all her life, she worked for the EEOC for 28 years and here in Houston and more recently in San Francisco as director of each. You know the old phrase : she never met a stranger.....she made friends with all she came across and then amazingly cross pollinated them with other friends. She was a great supporter of the arts as well and collected many pieces of
mine from early on.

Harriet Joan was FABULOUS. She loved stylish clothes, fun purses, deep pillows, her little yorkies, her extremely talented social impacting children, grandchildren, her uncountable friends and LIFE. This outstanding woman was totally involved with making this a better world. Big brown eyes, swept back hair, huge warm smile, brave, curious, innovative and loving. She made us all feel good about ourselves and because she said so, we believed we could do wonderful things.

The memorial at Rothko Chapel was perfect, as I am told she orchestrated much of it. People from all directions came here to remember funny stories and great achievements of this dear friend. I think we were all hanging on pretty well until her violinist friend played. The huge Rothko black paintings around us, the haunting music....get out the Kleenex. Harriet Joan insisted on ending the memorial with a recording of her favorite New Jersey boy, Bruce Springsteen. We then walked to the Menil museum for a warm hearted reception.

This was a life well lived. Love you, dear Harriet Joan.

1 comment:

  1. Lovely post, Gail. Sorry I never knew Harriet, as she sounds like a wonderful person to have had in your life.


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I am living and painting in the little town of Houston. A far way from my San Francisco beginnings. I paint what I see of the human condition, be it human, animal or object. The glimmer of humor, pathos, and spirit in so much of what I see is the basis of what I paint.


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