I was writing a post for my blog when I received the information that Nora Ephron had died, and I wanted to pay a quick tribute to her before getting back to that.
No, I did not know Ephron personally. We didn’t go to the same schools or move in the same circles, and I’m not Jewish. All we had in common is that I, too, had dark brown hair and wore bangs. We’re both writers, but even my fans will agree she’s much better. She was a director of films; I was a director of community theatre plays. She was a journalist with a column at Wellesley and then for the Post. I wrote for my college paper and a weekly column for local newspapers in the suburbs of Chicago and San Francisco. She was a blogger with the Huffington Post; I post a blog once a week which--if I’m lucky--twenty people will read.
In a speech to a graduating class, she once told them they “could always change your mind. I’ve had four careers and three husbands.” I’ve also had three husbands, but only two careers, not counting housewife. The rest were hobbies that no one paid me for. She wrote an essay that was published in Esquire. I was a proofreader for Esquire during one high school summer break.
Yesterday Ephron’s friends Ariana Huffington and Barbara Walters told of the clever things she said, and ABC ran a list of twelve. I tried to be funny in many of my books and also in the one-act plays written for the Repertory Players, but I’ll never equal Ephron’s wit in I FEEL BAD ABOUT MY NECK and I REMEMBER NOTHING, Or the films she wrote, such as WHEN HARRY MET SALLY and SLEEPLESS IN SEATTLE. I saw her interviewed on television a few times and her adlibs were priceless. I’ll be happy if anyone quotes one line from my novel, STRANGER IN PARADISE, “...going on a cruise is like prison with a chance of drowning.”
So, in deep appreciation for all the joy she brought into our lives just by being herself, I say “Farewell” to Nora Ephron.
When Harry Met Sally
Sleepless in Seattle