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Friday, June 17, 2011

The bagel-baking, leather-sewing, elephant-drawing, opinionated Jewish man......


Tribute to Stu by Ian Dudley.
"Bluebird of Joy"  by Stu Mendelson

(note:  I received this email just a week after the stroke.  Ian has always been a special person in our lives, even though he now lives far away.  I cherish his comments here.     ----Sue)

I was unaware of what has happened until moments ago. Seems like I am about a week late for wishing you all the best. I am sorry that words are inadequate for sending any form of comfort but I know that they can at least help. Your family has been an inspiration in my life. I will always remember when Stu took me to his workshop and showed me his leather working/ drawing studio. He helped me make a leather candle holder for the candle you showed me how to hand dip. Stu made most of the candle holder but he did let me stitch some of it. We used a toxic black dye that burned my nose when I brushed it on. When I was done with it he took the dye from me he said, "Name an animal."
"Okay, an Elephant" I said. I was still confused when he took the dye brush and began to draw squiggly lines on a piece of paper. Thick black marks connected with other thick black marks. My nose burned again and I tried not to breath. Slowly the "S" curve became the trunk and the curved outside lines began to look like ears. He made a few gestures on either side for tusks. With a few simple lines he was able to pull out an elephant with a lumpy head and perplexed looking eyes. I was 9 at the time or perhaps 10. But the important thing is, Stu became in my eyes the man that could do anything he wanted. He was, and is, the bagel baking, leather sewing, Elephant drawing, opinionated Jewish man, that always had good advice. I want to dedicate that memory to him and when you are able to, I want you to tell him that I always think of him as the man that could draw anything. I wish I could do more than I can. God bless (In the most non cliche way possible).

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