We met when I was a teenager and she the mother of a friend. Age differences meant nothing because we clicked instantly, recognizing ourselves to be kindred spirits. But I was the dull one; Eleanor was interested in EVERYTHING; even her rapid-fire conversation could not keep pace with her mind. Tiny, vivacious, and eternally redheaded, Eleanor always punched above her weight, especially in volunteerism. Winnipeg is far the richer for her presence.
Let me tell you a story which Eleanor told me when I noticed that her quietly elegant home has a surprising picture near the door. It is a large photo of bare-chested firefighters. Apparently, when asked if she liked the firefighters’ calendar several years ago, Eleanor retorted, “I would rather have the real thing!” So, when she celebrated her 95th the next year at the University Women’s Club, guess who showed up. She had a lovely time and must have charmed them all. Several months later, Eleanor had an accident and needed an ambulance; looking up from the stretcher as they walked out of the house, she said, “Haven’t I met you before?” The firefighter replied, “Yes, Eleanor. I’m May. October’s up at your feet.”
Then we both roared with laughter.
They aren't making'em like Eleanor any more and we are all the poorer.