Aug 14, 2020

Besides having introduced me to the girls who became my teenage tribe, Linda introduced me to another of the major players in my life that same summer of our double date. She was living with the Steinkes at the time—her family‘s next-door neighbors—who were close friends with Earl and his second wife, Irene. Earl was teaching an adult education painting course in Walnut Creek—something he did for many years—and was looking for models. After Linda had modeled a few times for his class, she told Earl about me. And I followed suit. In A Patchwork Memoir I wrote:

Earl was fortyish, handsome, dashing, his hair turned prematurely white. He drove me to his class in Walnut Creek in a red MG, up the wooded roads above Strawberry Canyon, taking the hairpin curves—turns so tight you can see your own license plate, he joked—at breakneck speed and scaring me out of my wits. He was so attractive, it was hard to tell if the fluttering in my stomach afterwards was from the ride or—well, but…he was old enough to be my father.

Earl would become a paternal friend of Linda’s in the years to come, the person she went to when she was in crisis. But it was only decades later that he re-entered my life.

(I love this picture of him in his garden, where he used to grow corn and the best tomatoes I’ve ever tasted!)