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01 July 1999

Hi mom.  Let's see.  I think today would have been your 85th birthday.  If  I'm wrong I apologize for making you one year older when you needn't be.  

I still miss you as though it were yesterday even though I haven't visited you in more than a year.  Sometimes I think it's better this way.  You pay your respects in a cemetery but you end up staring at a plaque wondering all the while what lies beneath it.  In my mind's eye I remember the way you were; it's more enjoyable that way.  

I  have pictures & memories -- lots and lots of memories.  Sometimes I avoid them I guess because I don't want to be reminded that I can't have any more of you.  I keep the events of February 25th, 1997 to myself except for these small writings which maybe you'll get to read as they travel through the air or over the internet. 

After your death, it took me two days to realize that I needed to add perspective to my thoughts and so I bought several newspapers on February 27th, 1997.  Here are some of the headlines of that day.

You'll notice that The New York Times was reporting "Greenspan warns again that stocks may be too high".  You know what?  He's still saying the same thing except he's now upped the interest rate a quarter point as a warning that the economy should slow down a little. That may be enough but we'll see.  

Don't worry, though, your bonds are doing just fine.

You always liked gossip.  I remember you surreptitiously bought a tabloid called "Confidential" every week, brought  it home, read it with delight but wouldn't confess to liking it.  When we had Rona Barrett on Good Morning America, you eagerly watched both her reports; maybe partly because I was directing the show live & it was a kind of connection.  So, anyway, I bought an Enquirer thinking you might enjoy it.  In the Enquirer of February 25th the big story was the Jon Benet murder mystery & today you could write the same story.  Poor little girl.  Rumor, & only rumor, seems to point to someone in the family but I can assure you that "mom didn't confess."


On February 27, 1997 The San Juan Star headlined statehood possibilities for Puerto Rico.  I never understood exactly why Puerto Rico wanted to become a state but there has been another plebiscite &, you guessed it, P.R. is still a commonwealth.  The tax laws permitting U.S. corporations to operate tax free have changed, the Government is privatizing it's hospitals, a terrible hurricane hit the island causing a lot of damage everywhere -- including your home -- but Puerto Rico is still a beautiful place to live, even in your state. 

Because you loved flowers so, we wanted to plant a small garden for you in the cemetery; there's plenty of room, but it didn't happen for some unknown reason.  So Carol & I decided to create a "mother's

garden" here where we could see it every day.  It lies between the  house & my office. We actually call it "Mae's Garden". We have other gardens on the property but this garden has all kinds of interesting perennials that flower throughout the summer months.  We know you would have loved it. And, if ever, we leave this house behind, we know you'll be remembered for years to come.  Its our version of "Strawberry Fields Forever".

You didn't know we sold the house in Pound Ridge & that we've moved to Ridgefield, CT.  It's got one of those historic main streets, lined with white mansions, just like Litchfield.  

I know you remember Truman but you don't know about Sabrina.  We adopted her.  She's a black Bouvier des Flandres girl who is deaf.  She's a doll & Truman & Sabrina are like frick & frack. You can see Sabrina by browsing URL http://www.bogartsdaddy.com/bouvier/sabrina

There's lots more to say but your candle is burning down, night is upon us, & I want to say good night.  If its at all possible, I hope you have sweet dreams.  And never forget that I'll appreciate everything you ever did for me, that I'm sorry for all those son-like things I did, that I think of you always and wish with all my heart that we could have talked with each other one more time.

Your son,
Jan


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