The Nora Club

This morning a message was left for me from a tearful Amy Ephron... when I tried to call back, I couldn't reach her. A few hours later I got a call from a good friend of Nora and Nick's. Immediately, I thought it was Nick. You always think it's the man. He looked hardy and fit, but one never knows what silent threat lies below the surface. But it wasn't Nick, it was Nora.

Nora had a virulent kind of leukemia that had been kept at bay for many years. No one knew. Not even her best friends. That is the way she wanted to live her life -- and one more thing for me to admire about her.

I had a schoolgirl crush on Nora. She was the most erudite person I have ever met. Nora was cool: a Jewish ice princess. It was high school all over again and I wanted to be close to the best and smartest girl. We had been invited to her house a couple of times, and she to ours, and we occasionally ate out in New York restaurants. We saw each other at parties, we shared many friends in common. I remember at one event she greeted Annette Bening with warm hugs and kisses. I was so jealous.

Her writing was flip and deep. She thought about things, everyday things, and then wrote about them in the most approachable way. Like "Come on girls, we see this thing alike, don't we?" Then you belonged to the Nora Club. It reminded me, only more so, of the way I felt in my early teens when I first thought of myself as a thinking person, not just a reactive person... when I realized I could figure things out and have a point of view. Nora made millions of women think about themselves and what made them women... the thoughts and feelings that they had -- and if you got it; you were a card-carrying member.

At the same event where she greeted Annette Bening, I said to her, "Sometime, will you hug me the way you hugged Annette?"

And she did.