Es Cole Is Alive and Well in Ventura

By John Hertz:  Encouraged by John Coker, I went to visit Es Cole.  I found her in good spirits.  She’s 95.

She introduced me to her two dogs, fed ice cream to me and apple slices to them, and showed me a life-size reproduction of the Rosetta Stone text, Bob Bloch’s note about her cheesecake in his introduction to Les’ “Tripod” in the August 1957 Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction with the Barry Waldman cover, and Les’ library.

Some of the shelves you see here are empty now.  The books about the American Civil War, and about Minoans, have gone to a good home.

While I was there she took a phone call.  I was eating ice cream, but I heard her tell someone, firmly but not harshly, “Don’t say he passed away.  My husband died.”

She and he co-chaired the 12th World Science Fiction Convention.

Seeing A Wealth of Fable on another shelf, and turning to the photo of her and Les, I said “That’s how I knew who you were.”

Churchill’s memoir The Second World War, in hard covers, was on another shelf.  I said I’d read it through four times.  She said “That was my war.  I was a riveter.”

She’s still riveting – I mean the participial adjective.  If she sees that she’ll probably deny it.