Women holding NOW banner

Oneonta NOW Chapter’s Women in the 1975 Memorial Day Parade
Left to right, Unknown, Laurie Zimniewiecz, Joan Iversen, Lesley Diehl, Unknown, Marilyn Buehl Helterline, Unknown

How I Remember Joan

That pink fuchsia and lime green 70’s sheath, four alternating blocks of color paired with matching brilliant pink stockings. I don’t know where that dress is now, but I hope it went to a vintage clothing shop so that someone else is enjoying it as much as we all did.

Joan loved decorating. She was good at it, flamboyant in her execution. She was as fond of bright colors in her decorating as she was in her clothes. She painted the picnic table used for dining in the kitchen at the lake house sunshine yellow. It was the perfect color for the room, but she got as much paint on her rear as she did on the table. I think she sat on the paint can lid.

Joan was the kind of intellectual I most admire, pairing intelligence with passion. When I came over to the house on Elm Street I could hear Joan in the office off the family room typing her dissertation. Tap, tap, tap. Damn! Tap, tap. Shit! Tappity tap, tappity tap. Oh hell!

Before there was match.com, there was Joan. She didn’t bother to match you on twenty-seven compatible characteristics. If you were single, that was fixable.

Joan was direct. She cut through all the BS. She and I were doing a women’s program on campus, probably for a Women’s Week ,and I was trying to answer a question from our audience. I was calm and reasonable in my answer, but Joan wasn’t having any of it. She pushed me to one side when the questioner insisted, “I don’t understand why that’s the case.” And she answered, “Because the f——g research says it is, that’s why!”

That was living life, her special way, Joan style.

I remember her with love. And smiles. And now I have no one to tell me what stories are worth reading in the New York Times.

~ Lesley A. Diehl (http://lesleyadiehl.com/)