Sad news: Arlene Dick has passed away

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Re: Sad news: Arlene Dick has passed away

Post by BEATRIZ SALLES » Wed Mar 20, 2013 1:34 pm

Although I never met Arlene in person, I feel like knowing her for a long time.
I had the great pleasure of exchanging emails with her, she always was responsive enthusiastic and active.
Her comments, pictures and videos, her special kind of being part of this community. Thank you for all.
Rest in peace, Arlene. We will never forget you.
My condolences to her family.
2008 Paris. 2009 Barcelona. 2010 Marseille. 2012 Ghent. Verona. Barcelona. Lisbon. 2013 Antwerpen, Berlin, Pula.
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Re: Sad news: Arlene Dick has passed away

Post by Ingrid » Wed Mar 20, 2013 11:28 pm

As so many of us I've never met Arlene in person, but we shared a lot of things through emails. She supported me and my family last summer when my brother had a heartfailure on the start of the first Leonard concert in Ghent last year.
She was so lovely and sometimes when she didn't understand some words in my language she was asking what it meant, or she googled it and funny things came out sometimes. She posted my tattoo in her Scrapbook...shared photo's from all 5 Ghent concerts....She made me laugh, and now she made me cry.
But Arlene will live on forever in our hearts, her Scrapbook, her video's, posts, photo's etc.
I will never forget you Arlene, my deepest condolences to all your loved ones, and may you rest in peace .
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Re: Sad news: Arlene Dick has passed away

Post by Lili Marleen » Thu Mar 21, 2013 2:54 am

When I attended the Glenn Gould tribute to Leonard Cohen, Arlene was seated in my row. I was so excited to see her in person, that I tripped over peoples' purses, coats and feet to introduce myself. Her warmth and generosity of spirit was so immediate that we exchanged emails and became email pals. In Arlene's last email to me she gave me advice on choosing the right hotel to meet L.C. She said that that was "the eternal quest of a true Cohenite."
After offering me a few suggestions, Arlene sent me another email suggesting a hotel. I will miss her. Arlene had a youthful spunkiness, charisma, wisdom, a huge generous heart and a twinkle in her eye... I am fortunate to have crossed paths with such a special soul. I hope that Arlene's family is comforted by their memories of her and find strength... Peggi
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Re: Sad news: Arlene Dick has passed away

Post by Paul Zagreb » Thu Mar 21, 2013 11:29 am

Each and everyone of us here has been touched by Arlene in so many ways. She will remain in our hearts forever. Her devoted, respectful, tenacious, determined, caring and thoughtful love of Leonard Cohen and his work was so clear in everything she wrote, every video she posted, every event she attended. Wherever you are, may the music stay with you, dear Arlene.
2008: Manchester 20 June /Vienna 24 September /Berlin 4 October / Cardiff 8 November/Manchester 30 November 2009: Liverpool 14 July / Belgrade 2 September / Barcelona 21 September 2010: Zagreb 25 July /Sankt Margarethan 5 September 2012: Ghent 12 August/Verona 24 September/Lisbon 7 October 2013: London 21 June / Berlin 17 July / Ljubljana 25 July / Pula 2 August / London 15 September
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Re: Sad news: Arlene Dick has passed away

Post by majmunka » Thu Mar 21, 2013 4:26 pm

I found this picture on my harddisk. Not the best one but somehow fitting: Arlene checking the photos she took about us for her collection and her scrapbook in Krakow. Goodbye, Arlene, we will miss you.
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Re: Sad news: Arlene Dick has passed away

Post by scocoh » Thu Mar 21, 2013 11:27 pm

I'll be seeing you;
In all the familiar shows and places;
That this heart of mine embraces;
All night through.

In that small cafe,
Where the meetup people play;
The walk to the show;
The merch table;
The setlist scramble.

I'll be seeing you;
At every lovely, summer's show;
We'll look around and then we'll know;
The memories of Arlene will flow;
I'll find you in that empty seat;
Just when the night is new;
I'll be looking at the stage;
But I'll be seeing you.

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Re: Sad news: Arlene Dick has passed away

Post by chrissie01 » Mon Mar 25, 2013 2:12 pm

The love and respect we all feel for Arlene is palpable, but the sadness at her passing is eased a little by knowing she was with Leonard her son, and Leonard, the other man in her life, to the end. Drifting away in the music she loved, she now continues her journey, surely what many of us would wish for ourselves.
I loved her cheeky smile, her feisty and funny blogs about her adventures in pursuit of Leonard, and how heartwarming to feel the sense of loss coming also from Leonard and the Band, our global community united in this amazing and comforting spirit of love.
"And I'll bury my soul in a scrapbook
With the photographs there, and the moss..."

Arlene's choice of opening words for her wonderful on line collection.
Arlene's spirit and soul will be among us for ever, with the photographs, films and memories, displayed in the Gallery of Frost.
"Hallelujah" by Von Rivas
"Hallelujah" by Von Rivas
And you want to travel with him
And you want to travel blind
And you think maybe you'll trust him
For he's touched your perfect body with his mind
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Re: Sad news: Arlene Dick has passed away

Post by KatLaw » Tue Mar 26, 2013 9:20 pm

I'm greatly saddened to hear this news. I saw Arlene from afar in Austin last October, unfortunately, in my shyness, I failed to introduce myself to her when the chance presented itself. We were all honored by her presence on this forum and I for one looked forward to seeing her lovely avatar. I loved her up close and personal reporting. One of my favorite stories was her beautiful encounter with Leonard on Armistice Day culminating in the recitation of in Flanders Fields -- and of course, another great picture! I loved to visit her on Boogie Street.

I must tell about a father and son I met in Memphis for the March 24th concert. I met them in a restaurant the night before the concert. The son was so excited about the concert so we began talking about previous concerts and discovered we had all been in Austin on Halloween. He said they had front row seats and sat beside the most amazing woman who brought flowers, took many pictures, and had some confrontations with the "camera police". He said she made the concert even more memorable with her exuberance. They loved sitting beside her! I knew immediately they were talking about Arlene. They were very sad to hear the news but were grateful for the memory of her acquaintance.

Joey's picture of Leonard lifting "One more for Arlene" at Shabbat Shalom and Leif's warmly written tribute speak sweetly of how much she meant to many people. She left an amazing impression in the favourite game we play and will be missed here.

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Re: Sad news: Arlene Dick has passed away

Post by lizzytysh » Wed Mar 27, 2013 6:06 am

My overriding feelings are of shock and disbelief, and I'm having a very hard time getting this desperately sad news to ring true. Intellectually, I know it is; yet, Arlene, despite anything going on with her physically had a kind of vitality that seemed indestructible, akin to that of the main character in the film The Unsinkable Molly Brown, "a fictionalized account of the life of Margaret Brown, who survived the 1912 sinking of the RMS Titanic."

For now, I'm only copying and pasting what I've just written in the PhD thread above. There are other things I want to say, but rather than ramble, am trying to gather my thoughts first and will write more tomorrow.

Arlene was integral to this Forum and my heart is with her son, Leonard, her grandchildren, and all other family and friends who have lost her, this beloved grand dame, and with all of us who have lost her, too, and all that she brought us in her ways of inspiration and sharing, as well.
Dear Maggie ~

Only this late afternoon, I learned of our loss of someone whom I've come to regard as our Forum's matriarch, Arlene Dick. I've only just regained Internet access, and there was a PM awaiting me when I logged on from st theresa with this tragic news. She had the sense that I didn't know about it and was right. She wrote me two days ago to let me know. That's the kind of caring you find here.

Immediately beneath your thread is the one that Arlene's dear friend, sharon.e, initiated to share with so many who loved Arlene the news of her death. Sharon cared that we be notified, so came here as soon as she could to let us know. If you read through the many messages, you will get a palpable sense of how much people loved her, having met her or not... and you will experience our loving and supportive community first hand.

Beneath that thread you will get a sense of the kinds of people we have on this forum, with a sterling example of Arlene and how devoted she was to our Forum. She enriched us with photos, recordings, videos, information, and her own impressions, opinions, and ideas.

Finally, from that same thread, is this example of 'who' she was, as it so clearly signifies her approach to everything she did:
Thank you for your kind words. Yep, Lizzie. I am still going to Krakow even though I have "graduated" to walking with two canes. Neither floods, volcanoes or limited mobility will keep me from attending this outstanding Event.
My best to you with your research. I couldn't help but notice that these three threads in a row aligned so well with your topic, and as examples of a beautiful woman and member of our beautiful forum at their best.

~ Lizzy

~ Lizzy
"Be yourself. Everyone else is already taken."
~ Oscar Wilde
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Re: Sad news: Arlene Dick has passed away

Post by clive cass » Wed Mar 27, 2013 11:34 am

At the krakow event I was permitted to conduct a short jewish evening service to celebrate the start of the jewish sabbath. There was quite a jewish theme to the krakow event as there was a jewish tour organised, a concert in a synagogue and a visit to aushvitz but I had no idea there would be any other Jewish forum members at the event. As I began the service Arlene hobbled towards the table on which I had the kosher wine and bread and started to assist me by joining in the prayers and just generally acting as the "Jewish mother" which is such an important part of all jewish formalities.

Throughout the remainder of the krakow event I could tell that Arlene commanded a certain reverence and respect amongst forum members and not because she used sticks or because her devotion to Leonard cohen was infinite but because she was so obviously a kind, generous, courageous, thoughtful, caring, helpful and giving woman.

May G-d console you amongst the other mourners of Zion and Jerusalem and may I wish the family and friends of Arlene a long life and only simchas (joyous events) (traditional jewish statement)
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Re: Sad news: Arlene Dick has passed away

Post by lizzytysh » Thu Mar 28, 2013 7:55 am

Reading these things that Sharon and Clive and others have said to Arlene in Jewish is heartwarming. Arlene treasured her Jewish roots and heritage, as well as her being a Canadian; and loved that she shared all of these with Leonard... and her Jewishness with Sharon, as well. So often I remember her citing with great pride her being born in Canada. I also recall how she shared with us how the discrimination was for Jews where she was at in Canada during her earlier years. The clarity of her memories and all that she said left no room for dispute that she was sharing her very real experiences of history. Such treasure troves of memories and history our loved ones take with them when they go.

Arlene loved her bridge club, yet she'd sure enough bypass those card games if something related to Leonard was happening somewhere that she could get to. We were all amazed by her ability to travel alone to concerts and events everywhere, one after the other, even if it meant flying out to Toronto/Montreal one day and back to L.A. the next. Her personal constitution and vigour seemed impermeable. Her attitude was that she could always catch up on her rest later. She was clearly invigourated and rewarded by where she was going and what she did when she got there. I'm so glad for all the concerts and varying events she was able to get to and participate in [and bringing so many of her memories back to us] and I only wish she could have been part of the two concerts she had last been planning for. I have to believe that she witnessed "from the great beyond" Leonard's inclusion of her in his Shabbat toast to her.

We initially met through the Forum and communicated through emails and PMs before we met in person in San Jose. Flying out to see Leonard on the same night and having to catch an early flight the next morning didn't warrant the expense of a room. I planned to stay up all night until Arlene offered her room to share for leaving my clothes and lying down to rest before and/or after the concert if I wanted. Her offer was such a welcome one and eased my entire experience. After the concert, she returned to the room before I did, so I didn't get a chance to rest. She was already in bed and I came in quietly, but we still managed to talk a little in the dark before I leaned down to thank her again and hug her goodbye as I would my own Mom before I left.

With her fierce independence, she reminded me of my Mom. It didn't matter to either one how age or physical issues could affect their mobility; their sheer determination and will just wouldn't let them. In San Jose, Arlene asked if I would hold up and take a cab with her to the venue. I said of course I would. When we arrived, she directed the driver where to stop, so as to lessen her walking distance. However, as he turned the corner and pulled over to stop, the passenger side was angled toward the curb steeply enough to make exiting on the driver's side uncomfortable. She insisted on paying the fare and when I told her I'd tip him and she told me to put my money away, that she was handling it. She refused to allow her letting me use her room as it was get in the way of her natural generousity. As I was sitting behind the driver, I got out first and had to pull myself up and out at the same time. Not easy. I held the door open [since without the hinge engaging, it could have automatically closed on her] and offered Arlene my hand, expecting to help pull her out of the cab, since she was getting out the same side I had and was having to battle against the angle, as in climbing a hill. She swiftly waved me away with her hand and said, "I can do it! Just get out of my way!" Laughing, I responded, "Wellll, alriiiight! I guess you can!!" That was Arlene :) ! Her attitude seemed like my Mom's, that if she didn't do what she could to maintain her mobility on her own, she'd lose the ability altogether. And if she wanted or felt she needed your help, she'd let you know. At one venue, when it came time to get her signature on a card for Leonard, I said I would bring it to her room, and she gratefully accepted and said she'd really appreciate it if I did that. It meant walking a fair distance to get to her, but boy was I happy to be able to do something for her. I learned early on to never take for granted Arlene's sweet, impish grin and warm, 'knowing' eyes. There was a mountain of personal strength and self-direction behind those features and she could spring into both of those attributes in "a New York minute."

In Cracow, Paula, Arlene, and I stayed at the same hotel. Arlene had returned to her room and appeared to be upset about something. I couldn't bear to think of her going to bed upset about anything, so I went to her room and quietly knocked and kind of whispered her name. She opened the door to let me in and I asked her what was wrong. She made room for me to sit on her bed with her and we talked quietly for about 15 minutes. Her mood improved and we ended up going back into the small, nice sitting area that had the public computer on a nice desk, arm chairs, sofas, carpeting, and soft lighting where Paula was, and I believe that's when I introduced the two of them. They hit it off immediately and the three of us stayed out there for over an hour talking and laughing about who knows what, except I know it was a wide variety of things. We loved Arlene's chutzpah and humour, and Arlene loved Paula's down-to-earth sense of humour. We all howled about our similarities with our gift-selecting and the follow-up gift-giving [or not ;-) ]. That's all I'll say, lest I give away what became a three-way private joke and shared laughter between all of us. It was a wonderful way to close out the night and it somehow created a tender bond between the three of us. Paula went to bed adoring Arlene as I did, and Arlene went to bed feeling the same about Paula and with the joy of laughter in her heart. That was Arlene, too :) .

Across time, Arlene sent me various, Leonard-related items, and she always made it a point to thank me in writing and in person for my expressed support of her, and of her pieces and comments on the Forum and on her exquisite blog, as well as on Allan Showalter's "HeckOfAGuy"'s unique and hilarious blog. When she was thinking of making a banner to hold up at a concert, she wrote and asked what I thought of the idea. I loved it and encouraged her to do it; she did and it all went beautifully for her. I was so happy when she gave me one of the over-sized buttons she made reading "I [heart] Leonard Cohen." When I went to see Leonard in Austin in 2012, I took it with me, intending to wear it. When Joe and Anne Way and I converged with Arlene near the elevator at the venue, I was so happy to see her and when she looked up to see me, there was her huge button pinned on her clothing. It was in that moment that I realized that we had left to get to the venue in such a rush that I had left my button in my luggage. I wanted so much for her to see it on me there. And I know it would have thrilled her to the core. At the time, I thought I'd get another opportunity some other time, but that won't happen now. Of course, I asked how she was doing and her answer was blunt and to the effect of "Not good. But I'm here." That may be a paraphrase or a direct quote. As we all talked, she made it clear that her doctor didn't want her coming to the concert, but that she was somehow able to override that and get him to reluctantly agree to it; as I recall, she had to promise him some things.

Arlene was immensely grateful to Allan Showalter for his generousity in mentoring her in creating photo and video pieces. On this I can't begin to express my own gratitude to both Allan and to her. We watched her progress and she was clearly astute. Arlene poured her all into each one as she made them to share her love for Leonard and all the people she had met and loved as a result of joining the Forum and entering Leonard's world in ways she had never dreamed possible. Arlene also noticed things in Leonard's performances that many, even most, missed. She pointed out various gestures or comments he made, with her own commentary on them; she noticed items he would wear, researched them, and brought us the results to appreciate the same as she did. I remember her devastation when she thought her laptop had been stolen at the airport. So many irreplaceable things that were precious to her were in that one piece of electronic equipment. [As I recall, her son played a hero's role somehow in getting it back to her.]

Arlene's life had taken on an expansiveness beyond measure and documentation of it was crucial to her... and she and we were the benefactors. She seemed invincible within her world. A woman of conviction and strength. Spaces opened up for her. Whether through her energy, her presence of being, her beauty, or her iron will, she got to places and captured rare and precious moments that few to none of us would have seen otherwise. I'm grateful for how Leonard, the entire band, and the crew embraced her in so many ways... the access she obtained to communicate and to witness. There are some people that I just want to see made happy and Arlene was one of them. I knew how deeply she appreciated those gestures. I'm glad that, in her honour, Dino will wear the red socks that she so happily bought him. I'm especially glad that Leonard lifted a final glass to her. Anyone who knew Arlene at all knows how much her knowing these things would have meant to her.

And, oh yes... how Arlene loved her son, her granddaughters, and the times with her family. She shared many photos that revealed an immensely warm and loving family life and she was so proud of and adored her Leonard. Not watching television at home, I wasn't aware of the name of his production of the television series "The Good Wife." How I wish I had known, as I would have shared these comments with her that were excerpted from ones made on Anjani's forum about it. These are shared for Leonard's benefit now, since creating something that generates discussion is a kudo in itself; yet looking back, I would have loved to have shared them with Arlene and gotten her responses. I remember how excited she was about the project he was working on, and how proud she was of him and all of his accomplishments... and, above all, him as her loving and beloved son. She expressed the same kind of love for her granddaughters, as well.

On the forum of Anjani Thomas, a beautiful singer-songwriter, and dear friend and previous collaborator of Leonard Cohen, Arlene's son's series came up in a thread title, "what are you watching?" when Anjani commented, "didn't we LOVE the season premier of The Good Wife?" I've never seen it, but great discussion ensued with Jack Lazariuk, who said it was his favourite new drama. Anjani said, "it's about time we had cool, strong women who can hang with the men but be exactly who they are... " Arlene would have been so proud to have seen how these people were inspired to discuss her son's new program and, had I known that this was the very one, I would have made it a point to share these comments with her and share with them the connection with Arlene. If her Leonard took part in the development of the lead character with the above traits in The Good Wife, he had a shining example to draw from in his own life.

I've continued to think about Arlene and the fact that she is gone and it still seems impossible. I knew she was ill, even very ill... yet, it was Arlene, and that alone commanded a different outcome, the same as she could command those around her, didn't it? It sure seemed so to me. I've been caught up in various, necessary aspects of my own life for many months now, so my time has been chopped up in unpredictable ways and has resulted in an overriding disorder. So, continuity with Arlene hadn't been there. It was hit and miss. My last communication with her by email was just before Christmas [2012]. My deep hope now is that she didn't think I was ignoring her. Even today, I've seen things that I wish I'd seen while she was still alive, so I could have commented on them for her to know I'd seen and appreciated them. Life lessons come to us at times like this.

For now, I guess I want to close expressing my gratitude to Arlene's son, Leonard, for giving her Leonard's music as she neared her end... and I am so glad that her son, Leonard, and her family surrounded her in her final hours.

As you often wrote, "Hi Lizzy with two 'Y's," as a result of your typing "Lizzyy" became a sweet and affectionate, ongoing greeting and source of laughter for us. Unending love and wonderful, forever memories of you, Arlene... eternally grateful for the legacy and many gifts for me and all of us that you left behind. One of a kind doesn't even come close, my dear. Your imprint was indelible. My heart is with your family as they try to adjust to life without you there. I will miss you, too xxx

G-d bless you, Arlene. May you rest in eternal love and peace... and may we meet again.

Much love,
and a long, heartfelt hug,
Elizabeth / Lizzy with two "Y"s
Last edited by lizzytysh on Sun Mar 31, 2013 5:09 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Sad news: Arlene Dick has passed away

Post by UKsylvie » Sat Mar 30, 2013 12:29 am

It's been very moving to read these tributes to Arlene. I met her twice, the first time at Book Soup, just after my Leonard Cohen biography came out, at one of the earliest reading and music events on the never-ending tour. I was talking to Aviva Layton, one of Irving Layton's former partners, and Leonard's close friend, then up came this little powerhouse of a woman with a look of determination on her face and a camera in her hand, insisting I pose with her for a photograph. This of course was Arlene. I'm glad we did get our photo - and delighted at the videos she took of my singing Famous Blue Raincoat and Sisters of Mercy with my guitarist friend Rob Laufer, which perfectly captured the event in all its many colours - the cell phone that went off during a song (I thought Arlene was going to drag the woman whose phone it was outside!) and the weird book displayed behind my head! (If you've you've not seem them, I have them on my website :
The last time I saw her was in Austin, TX, where once again she captured the moment with her camera. I don't know what Arlene did when she wasn't documenting Leonard and his fans, but she struck me as someone who was dedicated: to her work and her friends. I'm sorry she is gone. Condolences to her family,
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Re: Sad news: Arlene Dick has passed away

Post by maltmom » Sat Mar 30, 2013 2:39 am

I was so very saddened to hear of Arlene's passing. Although I only met her once, I came to know her through her emails, comments on the forum and her wonderful blog. How I will miss that. Arlene was such an integral member of this forum and will never be forgotten. Her zest for life was incomparable. RIP, dear sweet Arlene.

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Re: Sad news: Arlene Dick has passed away

Post by lizzytysh » Sun Mar 31, 2013 5:08 pm

When I heard back from Anjani Thomas last week, granting me permission to quote her in my posting, she said,

"i'm so sorry to hear about Arlene. please send my condolences to her family."

~ Lizzy
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Re: Sad news: Arlene Dick has passed away

Post by Carmen » Sun Mar 31, 2013 11:09 pm

Oh... I just heard the sad news... and I am SO SORRY...

I never met her in person, but, along with other dear to me Leonard fans, her kind words accompanied me in my dire times. She was a nice person to communicate with and it's a pity that I missed all chances to meet her in person.

She will now murmur Leonard's songs in Heaven, in the land of good and generous hearts...


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