Letter from Erika Fisher to the Segals


Dear Jim and YoYo,

I read every single page of Anton's book and it was beautiful…it's amazing how broadly his brush was wielded on the canvas of people's lives…and how he was very well loved, almost instantly, by people. I particularly loved his letters to you. they were frank-(this girl was getting on his nerves, and that personality sucked)-and witty and full of affection. I guess the thing I most loved about you all as a family was how you really enjoyed your children…I remember going to Erica's "Nutcracker" performance whilst you, half-proud, half apologetic, kept asking us if we "minded" with sheepish but proud grins….I also remember how you used to go over Anton's essays with him at the Ethans's Glen poolside, reminding me of how the Jesuits at Georgetown used to pick apart our papers in philosophy or theology class…..Anton seemed to love the challenge, never getting sensitive but either accepting your criticism or coming right back in disagreement.

My last memory of Anton was a fun one….I had just made the "escape" from Tom and the Bronx to Washington and a new life, and had moved into a small house with the children who were then toddlers….My good friend Marie-Therese (better known as "Maite" - you remember her? Ed Baker's French girlfriend?) had sent down her niece, Sofie, to help me. Sofie baby-sat the kids while studying for her baccalaureat. Anton, who I guess had just returned from his year in France and was doing his thing at the Smithsonian, and his girlfriend came for dinner. The thing I remember about that time was Anton's profound amazement that I spoke fluent French, and that it was, indeed, a francophone household with Sophie there. All of a sudden I gained status in Anton's eyes and he started asking a lot of questions about how I grew up, etc. I thought it was very amusing, this sudden elevation in status, but we enjoyed each other so much and talked a long time. I could see the seeds of his being a citizen of the world then. That was his "stud-muffin summer," as I think of it…his hair was long and he was in terrific shape and was so good looking ….and Sooooooo Sweeeeeet!!!!!

I send you much much love and will keep in touch. God bless you both, I love you and miss you….(and I'm signing off with my "official" title…

Love to you,
Erika Fisher