It's with a heavy heart that I share that our long-time friend and landlord, Dr. Harvey Bricker, passed away. While he died this January, circumstances prevented a celebration of his life here in New Orleans until this week. And until his memorial made the sad news public, I didn't want to post lest some friend or neighbor stumbled on the news in this way. Dr. Bricker passed away suddenly in January, and I received the call from his wife right after returning home from the Louisiana Marathon. The distraction and grief that followed were contributors to my poor appetite and recovery (but so was a stomach infection, I believe), although I didn't feel comfortable explaining that here at the time.
Thursday, Dr. Bricker's colleagues and students from Tulane University, where he taught for decades, remembered him. They remembered a warm and witty scholar, an author and researcher whose work stretched from France to Mexico. I remember a caring neighbor who often treated us to dinner, who could order an excellent bottle of wine, and who told the most fascinating stories I've ever heard. The last time we shared dinner with our landlords, the week before Harvey died, he told the story of winters at Harvard. His California girlfriend - later, his wife! - had no winter clothes and no money to buy any, so they would each wear one of his gloves on their outside hand, and hold hands in his pocket with their inside hands. I will always associate long and lively dinners with him, and always remember his charming stories.
It's rare that landlords become close friends, but the Brickers are near and dear to us. Dr. Bricker always treated us with the utmost generosity and kindness. He wasn't just a prompt and caring landlord: he invited us to dinners, checked in on our health, shared jokes, exchanged Christmas gifts, and could easily drink us under the table! More than once I remarked to David that it was a good thing our "commute" home was just across the porch to our side of the house! While I remember so many late evenings with fondness, I can't help but continue to grieve that such a charming and brilliant friend is no longer just a door away. For almost fifteen years, we shared a wall with Dr. Bricker, and we'll miss hearing his tread on the stairs.