As the only person still living in a home Bernard Maybeck planned for her, and who worked a year with him in the planning, I especially enjoyed your superb article on our California hero [August/September 1981]. I learned much from its distant view which I had failed to learn from my near view. But the near view at least showed me Maybeck’s wide-ranging sense of beauty, which included even the beauty of death.
I still recall his delight, when I was driving him through the ruins left by our Berkeley fire, that so much bad architecture had been destroyed. “It has the quiet beauty of a graveyard,” he said and then got out of my car to examine and enjoy the colors of ash and burned timbers.
Maybeck was eighty when I saw him last. It was at Lake Tahoe, six in the morning, temperature thirty-five degrees. In swimming trunks, his short plump body pink with health and his white beard flying, he went jogging through our pine trees for a plunge into the icy lake.
Your magazine comes to me in Talking Books, and I marvel at how you always find something new to say about the old. Thank you for it.