SUMMER MAIL General Delivery East Hampton, N.Y. 11937 May 11, 2013 Dear Maxine: Hearing from me will probably be a great surprise but I purposely used this nondescript return address so I wouldn’t give the surprise away (and took the chance that you might think it was junk mail, heaven forbid!). Does “Sock ‘em High, Sock ‘em Low, Central High, Go Go Go” tweak your memory? Of course! it’s Brenda, your best friend from the good old days, touching base with you! Thank God (whoever She is) that I know our friendship endures and that we don’t have to see each other every day to know we have a real bond even if we haven’t been in touch for what? three, four years? (Who’s counting!) Time flies! College, marriages and everything in between! I don’t resent at all that you haven’t called or gotten in touch with me. The name of the game is forgive forgive forgive — but I think of you all the time, honestly — what a good sport you were and the incredible fun we had together. You were and always will be my best friend and I absolutely believe you feel the same about me. That’s why, dear Maxie, I feel safe writing to you now with my — what to call lit? Issue? Problem? — what you can only share with a friend. I’d be there for you if the situation were reversed. I have these three (other) really good friends who are simply dying to come to The Hamptons to escape the awful summer heat in the City. Remember us in the bad old days, mid-summer, desperate to cool off, dangling our feet in Sailboat Pond in Central Park and dreaming of being at the beach? And here we are, both of us lucky lucky lucky, living in East Hampton! So I totally understand (as I know you will, too) my less fortunate city friends and why I desperately want to help them out. But…alas, we don’t have room for them! Sam has one of the “extra” bedrooms as his get-away space and I have the other, without which we’d kill each other. (I’m joking!) Besides, your “spread” is so much bigger than ours, you can have guests without stumbling over each other. Lucky You! Your grounds are so spacious and your pool is so much bigger than ours and you have all those rooms you really don’t use… well, hardly… now that Harry’s gone, may he R.I.P. So could you, would you…? Actually, I think you’d love these people, but I will tell you about them so there are no surprises (one a day is enough)! Do you remember meeting Malva when we campaigned for Ike (what idealists we were!)? Well, Malva is my second best friend (you know you’re Number One!). She still has the annoying habit of cracking her knuckles but it’s nothing catching, thank God! She has a new fella (go, Malva!) — although he’s hardly a fella –82! God bless him!. One idiosyncratic (Psych. 1!) thing about him: he only eats food that is white, but that’s easily accommodated — potatoes, pasta, farina –that sort of thing. The third member of the “party” is Malva’s daughter, Fedra. You met her when she was a high schooler (a radical, like us). Hard to believe she’s 46 (how time flies!) but 46? Still, she’s a youngster to us — an avid table tennis player, incredibly athletic for her age! She gets it from Max, her father. Malva never was an active person, more the intellectual type, read read read! Not Max! He was very active until the day he keeled over with congestive heart failure at the bowling alley. (He bowled in the low 200s which was pretty darn good for an elderly gent, may he R.I.P.) But enough gloomy thoughts! One glorious thing about Fedra is that she loves to cook and is excellent at it. Extraordinary pastries are her pieces de resistance — (good bye dieting!) ) but she’s basically a good wholesome cook. She will easily make herself right at home in your kitchen, you’ll hardly know she’s around, you certainly won’t get in each other’s way, which can be so annoying — and she’ll come up with some astonishing dishes you will really savor, of that I’m sure. Her seafood specialty is mussels, perfect for a Hampton Get Away, and which I happen to know you love. What fun! I can just see you all sitting around your gorgeous pool pulling beards off those little black beasties and stripping corn (white corn, of course–Malva’s fella). You can be Lady of the Manor, relax, recline, and watch them do the work or take yourself a nice refreshing swim. The options are yours! Be frank, tell me if fifteen days is too much and I’ll see if I can persuade them to stay for only ten days (the Jitney fare is so expensive it hardly pays to come for such a short visit). I know you’ll enjoy their company; I imagine how difficult it must be for you to be alone (I’d be devastated without Sam!) and these are really swell people, indoorsy outdoorsy, great, trouble-free guests. Oh, how I wish I had a nice big house like yours! Oops, I almost forgot to mention. Malva has a little corgie, the cutest thing! Poopsie is her name. Malva takers her along wherever she goes so she’s a very good traveler (and guest!). She’s about fourteen and blind so not really much trouble although she does have a tendency to knock things over but then you’re not much for knick-knacks (so Spartan!). I’m sure you’ll love her (and glad to give her a nice sort of end-of-life experience, kind of like Harry’s passing at the bowling alley). She is really cute and only poops indoors only occasionally. Wow! I am so lucky to have you for a friend! One last thought: don’t worry about entertaining Malva & Co. At least one night and one breakfast during their stay ALL COME TO OUR HOUSE!!!!!!! and if it works out well, we’ll do it again. One caveat: please have them leave Poopsie at your place; our Tugger is very territorial (his only shortcoming; he never poops indoors!) which I’m sure you’ll understand even though you are such a different person, i.e., not territorial, but then again you’re not an animal! Ha ha! You are my best and dearest friend otherwise I’d never ask you. If only we had a bigger house! Much much love. We adore you! Awaiting your reply (yes, yes, and yes!). xox, Brenda P. S. And thanks in advance. Our East Hampton address and phone number is in the phone book. Hint hint hint.