"Be strong. Live honorably and with dignity." - James Fey
My sister and I were blessed to be raised within an incredibly loving and supporting circle of my parents' friends. I was raised and wonderfully influenced by: artists, architects, intellectuals, singers, dancers - of a half dozen ethnicities and/or nationalities, 3 or so different religions, in Chicago. And I've been doubly, triply, blessed to include them in the lives of my children.
And I absolutely LOVED me some Robert Turner (the devastatingly handsome Ginger in these photos). He was suave, debonair and always dressed like a super cool, bad ass character out of a James Bond movie (the good guy, of course ;-} When I was in grammar school, he'd pick my sister and I up from school in his Saab convertible and take us to The Drake or The Four Seasons for dinner. He always talked to me like I was a smart elegant young lady, not the gawky gangly girl of 12 I really was. He always made me feel special.
After living and designing buildings in India, Asia and all over Europe, Robert settled down in Paris and started his own successful architectural firm. But he always stayed close and after dad died even more so - family. Every time he was in the States, every time we were in Paris we spent as much time together as possible. Robert is an integral part of so many of my most treasured memories of Paris: He was in the audience w/ Mr. G the first time I sang in a Paris jazz club, he took us to dinner in Paris to celebrate my marriage and again after I earned my Ph.D. He adored my children and they adored him. He was my mother's fast friend, they'd been through, seen so much together. I think my favorite memories are of Robert and my mother hunched over a cafe table in Paris, sipping champagne as they shared old stories and laughed.
15 years ago Mom, Mr. G and I were sitting with Robert at a cafe in Paris when we learned that his persistent cough was due to lung cancer. Robert beat it for 10+ years. But it came back. He fought it for several more years but passed away the other day - and we are...devastated. Paris' lights will glow a bit dimmer now. And when I again wander the streets of my beloved city, I will look for him and remember with a bittersweet smile. Robert Turner was the epitome of a dignified, honorable gentleman and I will miss him forever.