Tuesday, November 29, 2011

So glad our paths crossed in this world, Doc.

There are all kinds of people one encounters on the wine trail, but once in a while one comes upon one of the gentle souls. Arthur Levine was one of those.

I met Dr. Levine many years ago at a wine tasting and we hit it off. He was frank, funny and didn’t take himself too seriously. He was a bit self-deprecating and he had a wonderful wife, Harriet. She looked like Janet Leigh’s twin.

They both loved food and wine and banter and people.

A few years ago Arthur had me over to their house for a sip of wine. My wife had recently died and he was trying to pull me out of the rabbit hole I’d scrambled into. He was such a kind man. It was then that he told me he’d just been diagnosed with cancer. Being a doctor (and a scientist) he was pretty brutal with himself in regards to the diagnosis. Something he would have never done to his patients, but in regards to his condition he faced it, fought it and kept it at bay for some time. I saw Arthur last month at the Farmers Market Hoedown at Fair Park's Food & Fiber Pavilion. I went over and sat with him for a spell.

“So how’s it going Doc? That nasty old cancer hasn’t taken you out yet.” We always played fast and loose when talking about death. “Yes, I’m running fast but they’re gaining on me,” he replied. We shared a glass of wine and spent a few minutes visiting before I was called back to doing something over on the other side of the building. He looked well, but he was a lousy liar.

Arthur passed away this weekend. The obit is here. It really got to me today. The good news is that Arthur lived 89 years, 61 with an incredible woman. They had a large and lovely family. And he had a good life and was filled with happiness. And he passed his happiness along to those who met him with an open heart. I will really miss Arthur, as I think many in the Dallas wine scene will also. He was one of the good guys and will be sorely missed.

Happy trails, dear friend, may your memory be a blessing to all who knew and loved you.

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