Recently, many readers of this blog have followed and commented on the story about my friend and colleague Steve Athan from so many years ago. He died tragically in Yellowstone NP. (see blogs from January 6, 2016 and July 13, 2016) Last year I was given an exceptional opportunity when I heard from Steve’s wife and daughter, 50 years later. When I realized that Steve’s wife Felice still lived in California, I knew Arlyne and I were going to visit her. I told Felice that we should have a cup of coffee together.
On a recent Sunday, she invited us for lunch at her house and we drove there. Thanks Felice, for having us over. As I said, I thought this was a truly unique opportunity to meet Steve Athan’s wife. We both have our memories of Steve but had never met. In my mind, our lunch with Felice was a chance to close a circle that has remained open for 50 years. I told her she has always been the “imaginary” wife. I always sort of wondered about her over the years.
She remarried sometime after Steve died and her second marriage lasted 40 years. Incredible. She and her second husband traveled the world a bit and it must have been a very good marriage. Let me congratulate Felice for a continued great life in spite of some challenges, not the least of which is, of course, the passage of time. It’s happening to all the rest of us as well.
She told me her marriage with her first husband, Steve, was “the best seven years of my life.” I believe her of course because I knew Steve.
Felice allowed me to take a picture with her and permitted me to take a few pictures of her photo album. This is my friend Steve Athan and I remember him well. Most importantly, Felice (Athan) Hunter is no longer the imaginary woman and the circle (my circle) has closed. I’m sorry that we’ve both aged (pretty well, actually) but we’re leading the way for the rest. Thanks Felice,
Bob and Arlyne Draper