Letter from John Boit to the Segals

Thursday, February 11, 1999

Dear Mr. and Mrs. Segal,

It was only just today that I learned about Anton. I cannot tell you how sorry I am. You may not remember me, but I was a friend of Anton's from SYA and Harvard. He and I hadn't spoken in a few years, but I have always held him in the highest esteem. He was one of my true friends in France. He had a deeper soul than anyone I ever met. He would do anything for a friend. I can remember as if it were yesterday the first time we met. We were sitting in the community room of the school in Rennes. We had just arrived a few days before. He asked me if I could hand him a piece of blue paper near me. "Blue?" I said. "That's green! What are you, color-blind or something?" He laughed in his inimicable way and said, "Why, yes. As a matter of fact I am." I felt lower than a worm. But only Anton could have looked past someone putting their foot in his mouth. He didn't hold it against me. He just laughed, shook my hand, and became one of the best friends I ever had. I got your email address from Duncan Van Dusen, another SYA friend, who told me. I hope it's okay to have written. I don't know anything about the circumstances of Anton's death. I've heard there will be a memorial service for him at Harvard. I am living in Azerbaijan as a reporter and most likely won't be able to fly back for it. I certainly wish I could.

My love and prayers are with you.

John Boit