Nancy Milford

I met Nancy in the early 1990s when I drove to NYC to pick up my friend (her daughter) and bring her back to Michigan where we were attending the same college. Experiencing NYC for the first with natives (my friend, her siblings, and some of her friends) and someone who had lived there for many years (Nancy) was pretty amazing for this small-town girl. Though I had lived in Chicago for a couple of years, there is no city like New York.

Over the next 30 years, I saw Nancy from time to time (not often): a trip to Fire Island, my friend’s wedding, various visits she made to Michigan. I loved spending time with her, but it’s probably good that it didn’t happen often — because I was naughty with her. For example, she was one of only two people I would ever smoke cigarettes with. I would have gone anywhere with her — it’s just the kind of personality she had.

Go well, incomparable Nancy. Wherever you are, I hope you are blowing the roof off of the place.

Trivia with a meta touch: I have the Genus Edition of Trivial Pursuit. Once while playing it years ago, an opponent asked me, “Who wrote the biography Zelda, about F. Scott Fitzgerald’s wife?” Of course I knew the answer. Imagine my shock when my opponent said, “Wrong! It was Nancy Mitford.” The trivia card did indeed say (erroneously) that Nancy Mitford was the author.

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