Mainly memories

Am reminded of some flowers surrounding a beautiful house in Bar Harbor, Maine, and a lovely gentleman who resided there with his second wife. He was about 82 when I worked for them. During a walk to the beach, he told me the story of a big boulder that shouldered the shore. When I mentioned his wife had told me about it, he smiled, saying, “Yes, she acts as if she put it there herself,” which made us both chuckle. He gave me a piece of advice one hot, sunny day as I was pouring him a glass of tea: “Katie, you must treat yourself as well as you treat us.” He was a terrific man — and I remember enjoying watching him read the newspaper: with several different-colored pens, circling, circling and checking off paragraphs. He read several newspapers a day. A brilliant man who offered to write me a letter of recommendation to transfer from my college to Georgetown University. Mr. Finletter had been JFK’s ambassador to NATO. He was very, very gracious to me and complimented me generously. I was young and stumbling along with my tattered self-esteem — so seeing myself through his eyes gave me a little more courage than I otherwise would have had at a time in my life when I needed it.

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