I was an alt.coffee friend of Maddy, and corresponded with her only a few times privately. I met her one time in Baltimore at the 'feeshees' get together March 1, 2003, hosted by 'sasha' in his home. I took quite a few pictures and posted them to a 'hidden' web page for only those with personal interest to see. Here is the link to that page.
Meeting Maddy in person was a treat. I was able to chat with her quite a bit as we toured the Baltimore aquarium. I only wish I could have known her better.
Somebody reposted Phil's afu announcement to rec.running. She was still remembered fondly there even though she hadn't participated in a while.
I'd been wondering what to say here for a few days, and just today, on a friend's blog, found this snippet of Milosz:
In the sun, while there, below, over the bay
Only clouds of white mist wander, fleetingly,
And the range of hills is grayish on the blue,
Apricots, the whole tree full of them, in the dark leaves,
Glimmer, yellow and red, bringing to mind
The garden of Hesperides and apples of Paradise.
I reach for a fruit and suddenly feel the presence
And put aside the basket and say, "It's a pity
That you died and cannot see these apricots,
While I celebrate this undeserved life."
I guess it's up to us to eat apricots for her now, to walk our dogs, to drink coffee, to do all the things that make up a life with a little bit more appreciation for the fact that not everyone we love can do those simple things any longer.
- Chris C.
I was looking over some dv tapes, and realized that I had a few minutes of tape from a June 2002 get-together. There are a very few shaky seconds of Maddy; not very good, but the best I can do.
Here is the alt.folklore.urban thread where Phil posted the news of her death.
Some photos of AFU Rochester, with Maddy helping to build the feared Zima Colander.
Your choice of formats -- beware the file sizes
The last time I saw Madeleine in the flesh was August of 2002. She came to Chicago to attend an espresso tasting event and spent the weekend in my south side apartment. We took many walks, and she took many naps. (Which is strange when you think about all that espresso.) The things I remember: How she made pleasurable whooshing sounds when taking a shower. How she could not pass a dog (she always had doggy treats in her pocket, even when traveling without Emily, and would invariably engage in long conversations with every dog-owner she encountered on our walks). How she enjoyed every morsal of food we ate -- especially including a memorable lakeside lunch with Christine and Mike. How misguided she was about Freudian analysis (of course we argued!). How very much she relished and savored every detail of her friends' lives. She was genuinely interested in other people, and her interest did not preclude indulging in wickedly accurate analyses in which I participated enthusiastically. We were a pair of old gossips, in short. In my mind she is still snoring gently on my couch.
Randy over in alt.coffee posted a memorial page to Maddy here. Have a look, if you haven't been reading alt.coffee.
I'm going to use my exhaulted position as "overseer of the logs" to pre-empt Phil, since I just noticed him uploading this fine picture of Emily and I bet I can get this post published before he does.
''End? No, the journey doesn't end here,'' replies the wizard, who already has had one near-death experience and has been reborn. ''There's another path, one that we all must take. The gray rain-curtain of this world rolls back, and it will change to silver glass, and then you see it.''
Confused, Pippin asks: ''See what?'' With a wry smile, Gandalf replies: ''White shores and beyond them, a far green country under a swift sunrise.''
A far green country to you, Maddy, and to you, Emily.
Maddy's beloved dog, Emily, went to join Maddy last night.
Emily was as sweet a dog as Maddy was a person. Whenever a visitor -- friend, stranger, or probably burglar -- came to the door, Emily would owf happily, bound around, and fetch a leash and a shoe. The visitor was obviously there to take her for a walk, you see, and Emily had to make sure he was properly equipped.
I'm very happy that Emily survived her owner.
As you are drawn into the world of Maddy, you are surrounded by a sort of wonderfulness...a feeling of being... a feeling of elegance. Even during the toughest of her times in Hospital, she maintained her humor, her wit and her diginity (all of which a hospital tries to take from you). I cherish her wisdom, I honor her doing that what she wants to do when SHE wanted to do it, and most of all I hold sacred her desire to help others- a truly wonderful lady.
Her vibrance and joy of living each day to the fullest is inspirational. Her wit and wisdom are a rare find- and my hopes were truly to collaborate with her somday on a novel! Ah, but her grace and elegance are that of a fine fine wine- rare, wonderful, and truly appreciated in this fast paced world.
I will miss you on rainy days when i think of the talks we had about them, I will miss you everytime my cats come to curl up around me, and I will miss you everytime I go to my favorite places in Canada. Rest well my friend, know that your soul guides me in my life both personally and professionally, and say hello to those who already have left this earth that were so dear to me.
Godspeed! Im listening for a bell to ring on my Christmas Tree :-)
Date: Sun, 22 Feb 1998 22:21:40 -0500
To: email@example.com (Austin Gontang)
From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Madeleine Page)
Subject: Re: alt.folklore.urban
>Give me a thumbnail sketch of alt.folklore.urban. Thanks. I respond to
>your reply later.
Hmmm. I've been active on the group for four years at least, so it's like
describing an old friend -- not the easiest task.
The group deals with the sorts of myths and rumours that are so prevalent
these days of mass communications: everything from "send a get well card to
X who is dying of cancer", to horror stories about gangs shooting at people
from under their cars. Tales of travellers who woke to find their kidney(s)
had been stolen.
*How* the group deals with this stuff is what is fun. It's an eclectic
bunch, with regulars who are nuclear physicists, test pilots, published
poets, English lit critics, computer experts, lawyers, geologists,
entomologists, dictionary writers, biologists, sky jumpers, philosophers,
mathematicians, MDs... You name it, there's someone on afu who knows about
But above and beyond the range of expertise you find on afu, the group is
remarkable for the standard of writing it expects, the degree of informed
scepticism it insists on, and the level of wit it displays. Lovely stuff.
The group is not kind to those who wander in and don't measure up (it is
hard to maintain standards in a world that has no boundaries, like Usenet),
but is warmly welcoming to Those Who Have A Clue. And I'm yet to find a
newsgroup with writing that measures up to the norm on afu.
Lovely place to hang out: like a very civilised, eclectic Senior Common
Room. I've met many, many people from the group, here, out west, in Canada,
and in England. A number of other afu regulars have become close friends of
>Ph.D. is in psychology. A master's in Theology. Finished the course work
>at Catholic University for another master's degree in Religious Education.
>A master's in Rehabilitation Counseling. And trained by the Joy of Running
>author, psychiatrist Thad Kostrubala as his first "Running Therapist."
First degree in Philosophy; second in Counselling and Consulting
Psychology; trained in Gestalt Psychology and in Organization Development;
now doing a PsyD. Coming from a psychoanalytic perspective, largely.
>It's an interesting path upon which I travel. Nice having you along for a
Pleasure is mutual.
>Gontang: Filipino father, naturalized US citizen. Polish mother, second
>generation raised in Chicago...and fell in love on the tennis courts with
>this tall, dark and handsome young man. In the 30's laws against mixed
>marriage and on top, she was not supported by any of her brothers or father
>in her decision.
She must have been a woman of real strength of character to make the
choices she did at the time she made them. Do you have a sense of your
Filipino heritage? Speak Tagalog at all?
>So you are talking to a Filipino-Pollack. Reason for some of the hard
>headedness and a quirky way of dealing with things...and if not dealing
>with them directly...then you have a full blown passive aggressive.
This makes me grin. Sounds familiar!
As I think I mentioned, I grew up in Britain, left there at 26, went to
Canada. Came here and did my Masters in Boston. Spent a year in the West
Indies working. Moved here 18 months ago to return to school. Looking
forward to being back in Canada when my (five year) program is over: it's
gentler than here, and I miss it.
Good talking to you, Ozzie. And I'm interested in the book, by the way.
Like many folks here, my first contact with Madeleine was on-line, on alt.folklore.urban. I've changed email accounts enough times (and my archiving is haphazard enough) that I can't find the earliest email that we exchanged. But there was plenty of enjoyable correspondence, some serious and some silly. (I find that I'm not alone in having enjoyed such correspondence with her.) Madeleine wasn't the first of my on-line friends that I had the pleasure of meeting in person, but she was the first one I made a point of planning a meeting with when I was out of town. We had a delightful lunch in a Rittenhouse Square cafe, on a rainy Philadelphia day, and I was disappointed to have to run to catch a train.
Some of my most treasured email from her concerns my house; she was delighted at how delighted I was to have a place to fix up the way I want it. I'm only sorry that she never got to see it.
Good-bye, my friend, and God speed.
It was Maddy who first taught my dog how to Sit For A Milk-Bone™, on one of her visits to New York. (He eventually graduated to Roll Over, but never really got beyond that, which of course was not the fault of Maddy's pedagogical philosophy.)
I think it was the very first weekend that I met Maddy when I saw her unexpectedly produce a biscuit out of her purse for the enjoyment of a signpost-tethered Rhodesian ridgeback. (Or so she ID'd the breed.)
She was a good mom to Emily the Q, for sure.
Laughing, a little bit annoyed at me, and at ease.
The first day after a death, the new absence
Is always the same; we should be careful
Of each other, we should be kind
While there is still time.
"The Mower," Philip Larkin
Thank you and rest well, our lovely girl.
Maddy and I had a sleepover at her house in Ottawa one weekend. I went with Paul to visit his kids, but I abandoned him on Friday night. Maddy and I sat up and ate and drank and laughed... I don't remember what we talked about, but I do remember that I've never slept as well as I did that night on her futon.
I loved her Ottawa house; I still mentally wave to her when we pass it.
I also vividly remember a quite hilarious discussion we had over sexual practices and preferences. Sadly for all of you, it will remain my memory alone.
She was quite a woman.
Maddy, I love you.
I hope my ending is as peaceful and surrounded by friends as yours.
I couldn't think of what else to do, so I set up a memorial for Maddy. Anybody can post, just go to http://xcski.com/movabletype/mt.cgi and log in with the user id "maddyfriends" and the password '250". If comment spammers ever find this place, I'll change the userid and/or password, announce it here, and you'll have to email me (email@example.com) to get the new one.