After working so closely with Gershon for 10 years, and then showing up to an empty studio after his death, keeping the same routine but with nothing but reminders of a brilliant man who suffered in the aging process and the loss of his beloved wife, Lillian, a year prior, I may have had a head-start on a soul-searching quarantine of sorts. It was a battle to turn my energy outwards, after earnestly assuming a supporting role and serving as an extension of Gershon’s slowly failing memory, and trying to make his days tolerable but also not glazed-over with fake positivity. However, towards the end of Gershon’s life, I did start changing the channel to TCM so that he wouldn’t wake up to Donald Trump’s face staring down at him from the giant flat screen TV across from his favorite chair. What a waking nightmare Trump and his enablers have relentlessly sustained--and that's been the backdrop for profound losses only those in their "golden years" understand. Tony (as Gersh used to call Anton Coppola) used to joke about volunteering to assassinate Donald Trump, “because what’s a life sentence when you’re already over 100 years old?” Tony and Gersh lived very full lives, and are missed. I am honored to continue working for both their families. In Gershon's case, I'll be helping to preserve his legacy.
Here are their New York Times Obituaries:
Post COVID-19, public memorials will be planned for both.
First photo from foreground to background: me, Gershon, and Caley Monahan Ward (Emily Manzo was playing piano)
Second photo, left to right: Gershon, Lillian Bozinoff Kingsley, and Anton Coppola
Third photo, left to right: Gershon, Anton
Fourth photo, Gershon and Lillian (taken by Jocelyn Barranco, the previous three were taken by me)