Barba-Del passed away on Saturday, March 6th at 6:30 in the morning. Those of us who were fortunate to be in her presence knew they were subject to greatness. She 'held council' wherever she went. She was friends with princes and paupers ... and may even preferred the latter. She could quote the most poignant phrases without skipping a beat, she penned letters to the editor of the New York Times ... and composed cherished notes to friends she loved.
I miss her. She was one of the best friends that I had. I say that because she always had tremendous insight into my joys and sorrows and freely gave of her intuitive advice. I wish I would have been with her more ... because I could benefit greatly from her unending counsel and life lessons. She is the last of her breed.
I always thought Allentown was a bit muted in contrast to Barba-Del's grandeur. She loved and belonged in New York City ... and would have procured company among the greatest.
Barba-Del never missed absorbing the New York Times and always completed the Sunday crossword in record time, often sending the finished results to friends when applicable ... even me ... receiving the completed 'Valentine's Day' puzzle from years ago which included the heart icon inserted in answers instead of letters. How she figured that out I'll never know. I saved every note ... and after grief subsides, will read them again with great affection.
I have been to her 'crooked apartment in the old mansion' * to help
go through the thousands of books, memorabilia, knick-knacks and keepsakes. I came home with an old Fred Astaire recording, put it on my cd player and the first words coming through my speakers were: "Heaven, I'm in heaven, and my heart beats so that I can hardly speak .."
There will never be another You Barba-Del. Our world shines brighter by knowing you.
Your friend and with love,
"when he shall die, Take him and cut him out in little stars, And he will make the face of heaven so fine That all the world will be in love with night And pay no worship to the garish sun."
Barba-Del memorial and celebration * March 20th
* photo and quote by Heather Sincavage