Sunday, July 30, 2006

Coffee Break No More

I was saddened to read an obituary in today’s Maine Sunday Telegram about the passing of Margery Eliscu. I am actually surprised the newspaper didn’t have a featured story about Marge, but perhaps they are working on that now.

Marge wrote a weekly column in the MST which I must admit to enjoying on many occasions. Like me, Marge was born in New York City and, according to the obituary, grew up out on “the Island” – Long Island, NY for those of you not from the area. Also like me, Marge fell in love with Maine and came with her husband Larry to live here permanently in 1970, which interestingly is the year I first came to Maine and fell in love.

For 20 odd years, Marge penned the Coffee Break column which was a short personal reflection of her times and activities. In it, we regularly heard stories about Larry, their children, grandchildren, and particularly her daughter, “Kathy-the-nurse.” Her column had an Erma Bombeck quality, but it was always with a Maine flavor and I looked forward to reading her entry each week where she would sometimes rant about something; but always in good style and with lots of humor. In some ways, Marge wrote the first Maine blog, as her commentary had the same tone often found in blogs – but without all of the techno stuff. She was a writer ahead of her time.

I suspected something was not right when after a short hiatus early this year, her returning column referred to some medical issues which in typical form she dismissed in importance.

Then in July, the column disappeared completely and only a short note was found indicating the column would be gone “until further notice” or with some other ominous wording. I kept watch each Sunday following, hoping for the return. So, I guess I was not really surprised by the obituary today.

It looks like Marge Eliscu lived a long, full and happy life right to the end and was surrounded by her many friends and family. There are a couple of references in the obituary suggesting how Marge would like to be remembered:

“In her last days, her daughter Kathy (the nurse) asked if she had any wishes. ‘Yes,’ she said, ‘that everyone should be happy and well.’

“In Marge’s memory, it is requested that everyone who reads this hug their loved ones and laugh together!”

Consider it done, Marge.


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