On Saturday, December 20, 2008 at Henry Street Settlement over 60 people braved bitter cold and ice to celebrate Florence Deutsch Moed's life. My sister and I are forever grateful for all the incredible stories shared and the love so freely given.
Photos by Morgan Gwenwald and Marianne Barcellona, captions from my memory so forgive the inaccurate quotes.
Melody from Orpheus and Eurydice by Gluck
"...cousin Florence...four-hand piano duets..."
...the most generous person..."
"... and one morning she left a dozen eggs left at my doorstep....
...the next day an egg beater."
"...because of that I started performing again... the world's greatest piano teacher but I didn't say that in front of her..."
"...taught me confidence..."
"Interlude #1 (1993), by Hugh Sams, dedicated to Florence"
"...she enjoyed her whiskey and one night..."
"...I realized she never left a message but was using the phone answering machine as an form to create..."
"...we were not the demographics the new yuppie places on Avenue C catered to and they let us know it...her intrepid spirit about aging..."
"...learned that making mistakes were opportunities..."
"...visit our five-story walk up on 6th Street..."
"...could play anything from 16th century to 20th century..."
"...she was a sexy woman..."
...somehow she convinced Medicaid that she didn't need help...so I had to go back and make a miracle happen..."
"...even with the dementia I really loved visiting her..."
"...she liked the foxtrot...I liked Strauss waltzes..."
...my first piano teacher... and she looked at me and I realized this was serious business..."
"Florence's pride that she, unlike Godowsky and Mannes (sic), could teach her children music...the failure of Otto Klemperer's son who became an actor on TV - 'See what happens when you don't practice your violin!'"
"...BUTTON UP YOUR OVERCOAT WHEN THE WIND IS FREE TAKE GOOD CARE OF YOURSELF YOU BELONG TO ME..."
"...Florence's refusal to feel fear...where I get my courage..."
"...my time of day is the dark time of day...And the streetlamp light...fills the gutter with gold...that's my time of day...and you're the only doll I've ever wanted to share it with me."
"...and then we had lunch..." (punch line to an old Yiddishkeit joke)
On Florence's 65th Birthday in November, 1982, Louise and Joshua took Florence to Conesy Island where Florence went swimming. We ask you to on some birthday do something equally daring.
The day would not have happened without the ferocious efforts of:
Rose Ortiz and her incredible staff at the Henry Street Abrons Arts Center
To make donations in Florence's name:
WNYC RADIO, PO BOX 1550, NY, NY 10116-1550
SAGE (Senior Action in a Gay Environment), 305 7th Avenue, 6th Floor, NY, NY 10001
LHEF (Lesbian herstory Archives), Inc., P.O. Box 1258, NY, NY 10116
For the on-line memorials for Florence, including IN LIEU OF FLOWERS, go to the sidebar of this blog listing the months on the right and click October:
TONIGHT I CAN WRITE THE SADDEST LINE
IN LIEU OF FLOWERS
LOUISE IS THE SMART AND GOOD ONE
The definitions of FEAR.
False Evidence Appearing Real
Face Everything And Recover
F*#&ck Everything And Run
Possible hawk hatch in Tompkins Square? - It's possible there has been a hatch for hawks, Christo and Amelia, in Tompkins Square. They were both in the nest for about an hour at sunset this evening...
5 hours ago