Nancy Bergeson

Nancy, our longtime friend, was recently found strangled to death in her house.  There were U.S. Marshals at her memorial service because she was a public defender for the federal government.  Ironically, she was perhaps the best advocate for her own murderer.

I saved a letter she wrote me when I was in high school because it was so special.  Here's an excerpt (dated April 21st, 1997):

One of the things I like the best about you is your total openness.  You have an amazing ability to naturally and comfortably relate to people, even old fogies like me.  You speak your truth in a simultaneously mature and yet innocent way.  It's an awesome combination, and best of all, it's totally sincere and spontaneous.  You also have great energy.  It's contagious and you are a kick to be around.  

She ended the letter with:

In short, I like you tons, you're a pro, and a totally righteous and awesome human being.  And as we used to say way back in the 60's- 
                                                     stay cool.
                                                   -Nancy Bergeson

I totaled my car that year and got a reckless driving ticket.  Nancy convinced me that I wasn't recklessly driving- I was carelessly driving.  The ticket got thrown out in court.  She also made sure my ten year old sister and her blond West Hills friends knew their Miranda rights.  Also, if a cop ever asks to search their vehicles, ask him where his warrant is. 

Some years ago at the Rose Garden Arena, Nancy waited in line for a half hour to get a beer and they carded her.  She laughed and said, "This is cute, but I'm 47."  She ended up having to wait in line again.

If paradise had a post address, I'd write her a letter telling her that she is an intelligent, dignified, charismatic, tenacious, lady- with a mouth like a trucker, and also a total fox.  Which makes her, ironically, my best advocate.