[Click any image to enlarge. Notice provided by Mike Hyman, 4-Aug-2006.]
“Shirl” … sports minded—neat dresser—a Joni James fan … “It’s been swell” … future plans a mystery.
Died: 12-Dec-2005 Lake Placid, FL
Email from Mike following service in Vermont…
Cliff, yes, I think it would be nice to have the Celebration of Life program added to your newsletter or Class of 55 [website].
Thank you for your comments on the service. We, as a family, felt it went well. I am so proud of my children and grandsons. Shirley was—and always will be—with us in thought, love and spirit.
Here is the touching poem, “Afterglow”, from Shirley’s memorial service program. I’ve reprinted it here since it didn’t reproduce well in photo, below:
I’d like the memory of me to be a happy one,
I’d like to leave an afterglow of smiles when day is done.
I’d like to leave an echo whispering softly down the ways,
Of happy times, and laughing times, and bright and sunny days.
I’d like the tears of those who grieve to dry before the sun,
Of happy memories that I leave when life is done.
Thank you both for being there,
Email from Mike re The Dash Movie
I just watched a beautiful and powerful presentation that really touched me and I wanted to share it with you. I’m sure you’ll enjoy the breathtaking images and inspiring message.
Lake Placid, FL
Shirley and I had known each other since third grade. The Cliffords moved to Westport in 1945 where I entered Greens Farms Elementary. One of my first recollections was of a play that we performed starring one Charles Hinkelbein (to leave for Plattsburgh, NH in 7th or 8th grade) as the leading “man”, and Shirley as the leading “lady”. I suppose I recall the experience since I was given the role of “Impie”. You know, for comic relief… 1
Shirley was a star, even way back then.
Another incident I recall with some embarrassment. A gang of us—boys and girls—were playing out on Shirley’s front lawn on Hillandale Road (I think) in Westport. I don’t remember the names of those present but there were probably three or four boys and about the same number of girls (possibly Deanna, possibly Shirley Dexter, possibly Gloria DeMattia, possibly Audrey Duffy) from the neighborhood.
For some reason the boys had taken it into their heads to “depants” yours truly. And it was Shirley who stepped in at the last moment to save me from this life-ending experience—possibly in sympathy, possibly in response to the sheer volume of racket I was making. To this day I can’t remember what started the fracas but I have never forgotten how Shirley observed my distress and stepped in to spare me the eternal shame.
Shirley was a leader, even back then.
Another recollection I have of Shirley was refreshed for me by Mike at our 35th reunion at the Patterson Club in Fairfield. He recalled that, back in junior high, we were both heading for a Hallowe’en party at Lynn Hackley’s off Imperial Avenue. Arriving at the same time in the driveway, we discovered that we were both Shirley’s “date” for the evening! Well, somehow (older and much wiser than me), Mike prevailed in the ensuing discussion, and the rest, as they say, is history…
Shirley knew what she wanted. Even then.
I lost track of Mike and Shirley after high school until our 35th at the Patterson Country Club. The hug was tearful. (The hug with Shirley…)
I miss our long, long friendship, Shirley…
January 28, 2006
1In fact the play was part of our sixth grade graduation ceremony. And—looking at the graduation program (near bottom of page)—there were two more of us imps: Nonee Theleen and Kit Green…