Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Here's to You, Ish

A week ago a very dear lady passed away. Her name was Ish Reynolds and she always referred to herself as my #1 fan. Ish was the grandmother of my friend Stacy, one of my colleagues at the law firm, and it was her granddaughter who introduced her to my books. She always claimed her two favorite writers were Harley Jane Kozak and moi. Since Harley is a personal friend, it made it all the sweeter.

Ish was so devoted to my books that she got on a plane in Oakland and flew down to Los Angeles for the launch of The Curse of the Holy Pail. She was 80 at the time and needed a walker. At the launch, my friends buzzed around her and made sure she had everything she needed. With her quick wit and endearing sense of humor, she was quickly holding court in the middle of The Mystery Book Store. It was her first and only book launch. She was planning on coming down for the launch of Thugs and Kisses in February of 2008, but liver cancer claimed her faster than the calendar moved.

If anyone doubts that writers remember and cherish their readers, think again. Many of you become very dear to us and you are all important. Without you, Odelia Grey would not exist except in a dusty drawer and my life would be lacking in the joy I receive from knowing I bring smiles to people's faces.

Ish Reynolds will not be forgotten. Look for her name as one of the main characters in my upcoming The Ghost of Granny Apples due out September 2009.

(Note: I stumbled upon the above book cover for Ish by children's author Peter Reynolds this morning. I don't think they are related, but found the coincidence too lovely to pass on. Ish would have loved knowing there was a book out there with her name on it.)


dianaojames said...

Sue Ann - What a beautiful tribute to Ish! She was a wonderful lady, and I have to admit that I was among those who had swarmed around her at your book launch. She was filled with a warm, enthusiastic spirit that was infectious.
What an increidble life she has led. Think of the lives Ish has touched!

Hans said...

Ish (Elizabeth) Reynolds was my mother's cousin. They grew up together in San Leandro and loved each other very much. As a young boy I preferred going to the Reynold's house more than any other place. They had a big willow tree and railroad tracks in the back yard. They had a big freezer in their garage which was often full of cool treats. Husband Jim was a bit gruffer than my own dad, but you could tell it was coming from a loving place. Ish had three kids. Kathy and Jimmy, who were older and seemed impossibly hip in a fifties kind of way, didn't pay much attention to me. Youngest son Chris was the main draw, and I glommed onto him whenever I could. He was a very imaginative playmate, and always had great ideas for fun things to do. Davy Crockett was big back then, and Chris showed me how to throw a hatchet and stick it in a tree.

But it was Ish who held everything together, through thick and thin, and made it the wonderful house it was. She will be greatly missed.

Mark Ellis

Sue Ann Jaffarian said...

Mark, thank you for stopping by and adding your comments about Ish.

josyua said...

If you get a chance read the book.
It is the sweetest book ever written
Im sure your friend would have had a lot of "ish" in her.