Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Warren and I met when we were seniors in high school.
We both worked at the Levittown Library. I asked him to my senior date dance. We were together about a year and a half.
Those times left such a strong impression. His intelligence and way of looking at things were so attractive. So many memories. I remember going on the train on our visits to Center City Philadelphia.
His dad worked on the railroad so Warren had a free pass. Sometimes I would feign sleep with my head on Warren's shoulder and the conductor would let me ride for free.
I remember dinner at the Rusty Scupper at Penn's Landing and the turtle soup. I remember going to Wanamakers and seeing the light show at Christmas time for the first time.
Everything seemed possible then.
I remember cooking dinner at my parents' home for our friends.
Warren of course was the cook and I was delegated to peeling potatoes for the vichyssoise.
We were 17. At that age there were so many strong feelings.
I remember music: Mack the Knife, Cat Stevens, Devo, Elvis Costello, Musico Orbis.
I remember picnics in the park and the Sloe Gin Olympics party.
I remember for Valentine's day sewing up 2 pieces of heart shaped posterboard and enclosing Elvis Costello's Armed Forces album for him.
Warren had cleaned the upstairs room at his parents' house and he set the scene with newly purchased wine goblets, cloth napkins and napkin rings. I still have the napkin rings. I don't remember what he cooked on that day but I do remember the cheesecake (the best ever), cookies and of course his mixed drink concoctions.
Warren was the center of so many strong memories.
He lived his life with intensity.
I am glad that we shared that small space of time together.
My thoughts and prayers go with Tony, Warren's family and friends.


Sunday, November 4, 2007

Remembering Warren

I was Warren’s psychotherapist off and on from mid-1994 until May of 2007 when we were no longer able to meet due to his deteriorating health. I had not seen Warren for some time because he was unable to come to my office because of the debilitating effects caused by the treatment he was receiving for his brain tumor. He returned to see me in January 2007, although he did so with great difficulty due to his physical condition. He was now walking with the aid of a cane and he appeared physically different from when I had last seen him due to the fact that his face was now swollen from the steroids he was taking to suppress the growth of his tumor. He explained that one of his motives for wanting to see me again was to have the opportunity to talk about his mortality.

Though Warren was different physically than the last time I had seen him, he was in many ways the same extraordinary---I would say more extraordinary--- person that I had known for more than 13 years. His mind had lost none of its sharpness that I had come to respect and he spoke about the future hoping that he and Tony might still have many good years together. What always most impressed me about Warren were his essential goodness and his love for the important people in his life. He loved his parents, his sisters, and Tony very deeply and expressed only the warmest feelings about his many close friends. He had passed through many dark times in his life, but he had always demonstrated great courage in the face of those difficult periods and he never lost hope in himself, in others, and in the future. I know these facts are well known to all of you who knew and loved Warren, but I want to explain that he expressed these deep feelings of caring and love for his family and friends very often in his work with me.

I saw Warren at him home shortly before leaving for California about two weeks before he passed away. He knew at that time he did not have very long to live. Although he was not able to communicate with me easily, he made every effort to let me know that he was facing the future with acceptance and without fear. I told Warren how much I respected him and how important to me our work together had been over the many years I knew him. I think about Warren often and I shall always miss him.

David Strug
November 4, 2007
Menlo Park, California