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Suzy Gershman Tribute from Dorie Greenspan
Of course I had known who Suzy was before I’d met her – like so many others, I’d traveled with her books and, from them, had a sense that I knew her – but nothing in her books prepared me for Suzy in real life. Everything about Suzy was out-sized: her style, for sure, from her shocking red hair to her fabulous mix of scarves and jewelry, prints and plaids and a flower here and there; her smile, which made you love her immediately; her hug, which I can still feel; and her heart. Suzy was extraordinarily generous. Yes, she was one of the best gift-givers ever – she not only knew what was perfect for you (I’m still cooking in that heavy, heavy cornflower blue Dutch oven she lugged to my Paris apartment 15 years ago), but she gave gifts whenever she found something that was right, not whenever the calendar said she should. But the generosity that I loved in Suzy was one that was harder to give than gifts; it was her willingness to give of herself, all the time, no matter what, no matter when.
Suzy had a gift for friendship. She knew how to share, how to cheer you and how to console, and she was the best at shaking you out of the doldrums. She was an adventurer and she’d sweep you up in her story.
But her greatest gift was her gift of love. She loved her family deeply and she treated her friends as her family. When Suzy took you into her life she held you there, and it was a lovely place to be. She folded me into her life, but she grabbed my mother too and, in many ways, the effect Suzy had on my mother is the fairy-dust effect she had on the world.
My mother came to Paris just once. It was shortly after my father died and she wasn’t well herself. I planned each day for her as carefully as I could, but the day she remembered and loved most, was the day Suzy spent with us. Suzy, who made her laugh, who drew her out about my father, who got her to tell stories I’d never heard, helped her to see Paris as the most exciting city in the world. Forever after, when my mother talked about Paris, she talked about Suzy.
We’ll all be talking about Suzy with love forever after.
Dorie Greenspan is one of Suzy's many friends, She commutes between New York and Paris and is the author of ten cookbooks.
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