A bigger farewell than we knew…

View from the Bridgewater Bistro

On June 2nd, Nyel and I took our friends Barb and John Canney to the Bridgewater Bistro in Astoria for a “Farewell Dinner.”  Barb had been here with us for two-and-a-half weeks, ostensibly to help me with my computer files.  Her visit was my 2021 birthday present from Nyel and it had been a year plus several months before it had finally all come together.  And well worth the wait!

It turned out to be the best birthday gift EVER!  Not only did Barb get me on track to continue streamlining my files, she helped me in countless ways with household chores, with nursing necessities, with cooking and shopping and just BEING — the way only old, dear friends can manage.  Barb’s husband John joined us for the last few days of her stay — all the way from Cohasset, MA.


Our Farewell Dinner was on a Thursday.  Barb and John left on Friday.  And the following Wednesday, Nyel died.  Little did we know that Thursday’s final dinner with our good friends would also be Nyel’s final dinner at the Bridgewater.  And, as it has turned out, my final dinner there as well.

At least, “there” under the loving stewardship of our friends Tony and Ann Kischner.  They have sold the Bistro and it’s the end of an era, for sure.  Not only their restaurants but they and their family have been part of our lives for forty years. Both their daughters were my students at Ocean Park School.  Ann was President of the Water Music Festival (before it became a “Society”) the year Nyel and I gave our Annual Croquet Gala to benefit Water Music — the year we got married in a surprise ceremony before the Awards Ceremony.  I gave my bouquet to Michelle who took it to school the next day for “Show and Tell.”

Nyel and Dr. Michelle,

We celebrated family birthdays and anniversaries at Tony and Ann’s Shoalwater Restaurant at the Shelburne.  During our Bookvendor years we ate many a meal at their Lightship Restaurant in Long Beach and their Heron and Beaver Pub (also at the Shelburne) was the perfect place to meet friends for a drink or a cozy evening meal.

The Pub was also where the Croquet Trophy lived between September tournaments and it was at the Pub that I held my retirement party followed by a dinner with good friends in the Shoalwater dining room.  So many memories — 40 years’ worth!  And all of them bound up in that last Farewell Dinner that we didn’t realize would also be a Farewell to the Bridgewater Bistro, as well!


One Response to “A bigger farewell than we knew…”

  1. Ann Kischner says:

    Your post was brought back such memories, both recent and past. We remember the recent dinner with Nyel, Patti and Noel, Chris and Dave, Laura and Don (which Michelle photo-bombed) with such fondness. Weren’t we lucky to have that time when we did? As you mention, you have been a huge part of our family for a good long time, and we know that connection will continue as long as we are all able to make it happen.

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