A beautiful little bird flew away this week and with it, my heart. The Gods took my sweet girl Bonnie from earth. Bonnie was larger than life. Warm as sunshine on your back in Spring. She sparkled like a chilled flute of champagne. She was actually the one who would walk into a room and all heads turned. She was gorgeous inside and out. But as beautiful as she was, she was no dumb blonde. And I can honestly say I have never knew her show anger or nastiness. It wasn’t in her nature. She was very kind.
I met Bonnie when she ran a unique business called “Divorce yourself” where unhappy couples could rehitch their vows without a lawyer. She opened several franchises. Later when we re-connected, she was running a glass business. But as smart as Bonnie Berger Herde Goodman was, she was easily swayed into a darker place. That was Bonnie’s potion. And while Bonnie charmed the pants off the devil more than once or twice, and slipped through the hands of death a few times, she lived her life on her terms. I like to believe that most of her life was a rich and happy place.
When I heard the news, I felt myself being drawn into a giant hole of sadness. I knew this was coming. She had distanced herself from me in the last month. No weekly chats and texts. I braced for the text I got from her husband at 2:47am. It was no surprise to Bonnie either. She lived her life hard.
Look, It was my good fortune to have shared the adventure with her for most of 40 years. I smiled, remembering how she changed my life forever. That crazy girl made me do things I would never have done alone! Never. I flash back to being in her corvette going 100 mph toward the city to go dancing at 11pm. Bonnie, draped in diamond by the mile, 6 inch spikes and designer clothes. And she wore it well. Picking up well-positioned gentlemen at the bar at the plaza and going for a limo ride to who knows where; Shopping in Stamford Housewreckers and browsing antiques; Meeting for lunch at L’Pastisse in White Plains, (she was always an hour late). She must have had a dozen pair of large gold hoops! When I think about, we could have been in serious trouble a few times. There was the banker with counterfit money. The stranger who wanted to take us to Venezuela that day!. Yup. Bonnie attracted an artful element, which was nothing less than exillerating. if not a little angst producing.
When her younger sister, Sara, died from cancer, I met her for dinner in Manhattan with another friend. We saw her approaching. She looked exactly the same. How is that possible? But when I saw her for the last time a few years ago when she flew up for a visit, It was apparent that her heath was seriously failing. Her gorgeous glowing skin was sallow. Her frame had become frail. Her shiny blonde mane was dull. I didn’t recognize her as she exited the airport. That is not an image I can erase, but not the one I hold.
Bonnie lived super large, with tremendous vigor and passion. No regrets. Fearless. No one that crossed paths with Bonnie Berger was ever left the same.
The music that plays in my memory is the score of Bonnie’s and my young lives as we made our way together. So I ask you to take a trip back in time, when disco was king”, And do ‘the hustle’ right there in your livingroom, just once for us and the 20 somethings we all were once!!!
And a wild ride was had by all!!!Thank you precious girl.
Evelyn "Champagne" King
John H. Fitch, Jr. and Rueben Cross
Got To Be Real
David Foster, Cheryl Lynn and David Patch
I will survive
Freddie Perren and Dino Fekaris
Bonnie’s Black Jack recipe
Scan me to take me with you
Invented as a substitute to a Perfect Manhattan with green olives. It use Jack Daniels whiskey instead of bourbon. “It’s delicious and I usually have to instruct bartenders how to make it.” thanks to Bonnie.
Combine Jack Daniels and Dry Vermouth and pour into old fashioned glass filled with ice cubes. Add 3 or 4 pitted jumbo black olives.