Letter from the Segals
April 14, 2000
Try as we might, neither Yo Yo nor I have been able to dream about Anton this past year and a half. Until, a couple of nights ago, I had a dream... We were on a boat, you and me, a whole lot of us. A dive boat, I think, on which none of the equipment was working. When we complained to Anton, who seemed to be the Captain Of Sorts, he joked, said stop complaining, things could get worse; we could run out of gas or rum. And then, guess what, we ran out of gas. (There seemed to be plenty of rum). And while stranded on some far off foreign sea, boat overloaded, radio malfunctioning, Moravian (?) divers bitching bitterly, Anton began coaxing smiles from us all with jokes, impersonations, accents and a really bad Karoke version of 'Michael Row Your Boat Ashore'. By the time he reached 'Hallelujah', we'd all joined in, singing and laughing in a babble of languages and voices so loud, I awoke. Singing? No. Smiling? Yes.
It's almost exactly a year since Yo Yo and I saw so many of you at Anton's first Harvard memorial / birthday. We still freshly remember how extraordinary it ..and you. were. I thought I'd use this upcoming anniversary (April 17th) to stay in touch with you, and update you on a few events of the past and coming year.
As many of you know, I had a bout with cancer over this surreal interim, but the chemo and the cancer are over now, and my prognosis is good. Over the same period, Yo Yo ruptured her Achilles tendon, couldn't walk, had surgery and rehabilitative therapy. She now chases after me with the same vigor as ever. (Almost. She's slower now, but then again -- so am I). We plan on going together this week to visit Anton at Harvard on April 17th - to see his tree, to shoot pool on his pool table. Perhaps it will become an annual pilgrimage. If any of you are in the Cambridge area, maybe we can share a bite and brew together. Or play some 8- ball.
Over the past year, many of you have given to the Anton Segal Memorial Traveling Fellowship. We are very grateful, and I mean very . The amount of the donations you've sent has been impactful, but not nearly as important to us as your participation. Yo Yo joins in giving heartfelt thanks. If you haven't given yet, don't be embarrassed - it's not too late! Checks should be made out to Harvard University, but the memo on the check should clearly say "Anton Segal Memorial Traveling Fellowship". Mail to Harvard University, Recording Secretary, 124 Mount Auburn Street, Suite 430, North Cambridge, MA 02138. More detail is on Anton's website at www.antonsegal.com. Please don't obsess with this, give whatever you comfortably can, it really is a good cause, tax deductible, going to talented and adventurous Harvard kids. By the way, the esteemed Harvard has screwed up in (not) crediting Anton's account with some of your gifts. (Naturally they don't tell us how much you' ve individually sent, but they do tell us from whom a contribution has been received. Except in several cases that we know about, a contribution was made. and Harvard did not send us any acknowledgment of receiving it and has no apparent record of it!) So: if you have sent a contribution, but have not received a thank you from both Harvard and me, please e-mail me at JRSEGAL@worldnet.att.net so I can be sure that your contribution goes to Anton's fellowship and not to the general Harvard endowment, which is what I suspect may have happened..
Anton's murderer remains in jail. His trial has been reset a number of times, but it now looks pretty clear that it will take place in May, in San Francisco and last 2 to 3 weeks. It will be grisly. So if you're in the Bay area during that time, please let us know so we can give you a hug and get one in return.
Finally, please stay in touch. Anton's friends -- all of you-- are all so damn interesting, so incredibly exceptional in so many ways. We love to hear of your adventures and exploits. We enjoy learning what's going on with his whole world - wide "crew" of pals. Remember, too, that Anton literally lives on, in the heart, organs and tissues of several organ recipients to whom Anton gave all he had, to the very end. To those for whom Anton was an organ donor, we send special greetings and best wishes.
On that note, we send you all our love, our thanks, our best hopes. It's springtime; cherry blossom-- those symbols of life's evanescent wonder-- are blooming again in Japan. Anton's tree is sprouting at Winthrop house. It's a fresh new year in many ways and in many parts of the world. We hope the year brings you much joy and much luck.
Yo Yo and Jim Segal