Sunday, April 30, 2017

Mike Levy

Ruth Berman and I went to the memorial service for Mike Levy. It was in Menomonie, Wisconsin, a small college town about an hour and half from the Twin Cities. It was the kind of service I like: the minister spoke, but not a lot. Mostly, Mike's friends and relatives told their memories. I got a chance of speak with Mike's widow, Sandy Lindow, and his son Scott, also Kelly McCullough and Laura McCullough, good friends to Mike and Sandy. Everyone looked wiped out. I told Kelly he and Laura needed to get a cat. (They have lost two fairly recently.) He said that was the plan for next week.

I will repeat a story Mike's son Scott told. When Mike was in grad school, he was walking home one icy Minnesota-winter day, and he heard a kitten crying. He looked around and found the kitten on a heating grate. It had climbed on the grate to get warm. The hot air coming out the grate must have cooled temporarily, and the moisture on the grate had frozen, trapping the kitten. Its feet were actually frozen to the grate. Mike carefully chipped the kitten free and took it home. He named it Sarah Bernhardt and had Sarah for 20 years. Scott said it was the meanest, most miserable cat he had ever met.

After the service, refreshments were served in the church basement: Wisconsin cheese with crackers, fruit and little pastries. The coffee was classic church basement coffee: hot and weak.

Then Ruth and I headed back to the Twin Cities. We were both tired. I was exhausted.

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