Ella, par la suite…
continued Ella left us on September 30, 2017, rendering the Herafter cheerier, to our impoverishment Here. I’ll share the substance of some post-Paris contacts that particularly deserve to be remembered as illuminations of my mortality.

Valerie and I stopped in for a visit to her Orem apartment, after our marriage; I don’t recall whether we had little Ricky yet, or with us. Imagine! both my marvelous she-companions in one place, at one moment! We both remember particularly the enormous white Pyrenees pooch who greeted us with a basso profundo “WHURFF” at her front door. Ella described it as “just a puppy.” If she was then still rooming with Crash Dudleston, she (Crash) wasn’t home.
At a later date, and perhaps (or perhaps not) via some gifting intermediary or occasion, I received also a two-cassette audio publication of Ella’s, incorporating a selection of her “Only When I Laugh” essays and also a recording of her stage production of “Aunt Patty Remembers,” in which she reminisces in the engaging persona of Patty Sessions, founding midwife and prophetess of our neighboring community of Bountiful.

When darling daughters Cyndi and Debbie and their cousin Nathan, and perhaps others) enrolled in Ella’s classes in BYU’s English department, she was kind enough to send me an autographed copy of her book, Only When I Laugh, whose cover and inscription I’ve illustrated on the previous page. It’s a collection of 36 of her thoughtful and humorous essays, in which her delightful voice is evident, mostly published over the years in Network magazine. I think it was also in that connection that I obtained her audio publications
which I’ll incorporate here, so that you can enjoy her cheerful and distinctive voice (please click below, to that end).

Aunt Patty Remembers
Only When I Laugh
And then Cyndi, Debbie, and Rebecca conspired with Ella to put together for me a delightful tape-letter of Paris reminiscences labeled, “This is Your Life, Dad”…

This is Your Life, Dad
…to which I responded in kind:
Response to Ella
Finally, in 2010, when I was serving as the Fox Point(e) Ward’s Temple and Family History Consultant, those who were in charge of that function instructed me to institute a “blog,”1 then and now to me an alien and unattractive contemporary notion1 and, in the event, by and large a non-productive one. I relate the episode in that chronological portion of this document, with emphasis on the single “blog entry” I then generated that still seems, with a decade’s intervening experience, to have justified the whole abortive exercise.

And that solely because I invited Ella to review and to comment upon what I described and “blogged” retrospectively as my “Shaker experience” back in 1978. I had so invited others over the intervening 32 years, to no particularly useful or encouraging response. Ella’s, by celestial contrast, remains today as the only qualified and serious such review that “Exalting Grace” has received, as well as my sole reason for suspecting that He might approve it Whose Words I presumed to borrow for the work.

Thanks, Ella, for giving me reason to believe in my contribution, even though I remain unclear on what I’ve contributed to.
1Some have suggested that this personal-history document partakes of the essential character of “bloggery;” perhaps so: it’s basically chronological, intended to endure, embedded in the Internet (however long that may indeed endure) and to reflect the evolving thoughts, feelings and events of its author’s mortal existence. Apart from technology, not particularly distinct from a classical diary, journal, or autobiography. Unclear to me why it needs a distinctive appellation. And if so, why such an appallingly ugly one?
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