Saturday, July 26, 2014
Bel Kaufman, tangoing now in heaven
We lost another beloved Dutch Treat Club member, Bel Kaufman, who died at her home Thursday at the age of 103. Bel was the author of the best seller Up the Down Staircase and a ball of fire almost to the end.
I loved her 100th birthday celebration on May 10, 2011. We all stood as she walked into our dining room at the National Arts Club and sang “Happy Birthday.” We saluted her with champagne and KT Sullivan, cabaret superstar and DTC president at the time, led us in singing “Young at Heart.”
Bel was the speaker that day. (Each week our Dutch Treat Club luncheons feature a singer and a speaker.) Bel stood at the podium for about 45 minutes talking about her remarkable life. Her mind was as sharp as could be. It had to be — she was also teaching a college literature class.
Her body was sharp as well. She was taking tango lessons — at 100.
She continued coming to lunches at 101. God bless you, Bel. I hope you find a good tango partner in that great beyond.
And please, God, don’t take anymore DTC members for awhile. Three in one week is too many. First Kay Arnold on Tuesday, then Peggy Burton and now Bel. Leave us alone for awhile, OK?