Her daughter Kathleen and my daughter Eva were best friends in high school, so they decided to fix us up -- Helen and me. It was a memorable date -- at the S&S Delicatessen, at Inman Square in Cambridge Massachusetts. The S & S is a local landmark, always full, good food, nice prices -- the right place to go for a get acquainted date.
It was not too awkward, getting fixed up by our daughters. We had a nice time and split the check.
Basically, we became friends and helped raise those two girls together. We both lived in Cambridge at that time -- I had an apartment on Blakeslee Street near Fresh Pond. Helen owned a two-apartment town house on Line Street -- called Line Street because it formed the boundary with Somerville.
She was a successful artist. I was "a good enough writer to be bad at everything else."
AND -- this is key -- living in this busy, tense urban environment, neither of us ever locked our doors. Seriously -- I never locked my door, day or night. My two teenage kids didn't even have the keys -- the door was just always open. And Helen was the same way. When I went to her house, I just pushed open the door a little bit and hollered.
That was ten years ago. The kids grew up. I moved back to the West Coast, and Helen sold her townhouse in Cambridge. She lives in Vermont now.