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On the Loss of a Friend

In 2008, I wrote an obituary for Bob Kleeb and, sadly, I’m now writing one for his wife, Bev – also known as Beverly Anderson, M.D.  While Bob quietly enjoyed being considered a curmudgeon, Bev was a cheerful liberal, irreverent about most things – even somewhat of an anarchist.  She was truly anti-establishment and could be counted on to disagree with my traditionalist, conservative views.  If we were still in the 1960s she no doubt would be marching along with the SDS on college campuses.

Bev and Bob remained in their Isles Bay home throughout the first long evacuation and were there when Tony and I were finally permitted to move into our Isles Bay home in December 1999.  They graciously invited us to share their Christmas dinner that year and indeed we did so with pleasure.  The Kleebs managed, as we also learned to manage,  without the usual amenities, i.e., electricity, cable television, hot water, etc. for another year or more until these luxuries were restored to us.  In fact, Bob and Bev were even without water for a couple of years and had to haul it from across the valley.

An individual from the Governor’s Office was reported to have described residents of Isles Bay Hill as “six rich Americans” who wanted to have electricity restored to their homes and is said to have asked rhetorically why this should come to pass.  This obviously mean-spirited, obstructionist attitude continues to puzzle us to this day.  Additionally, we knew we certainly weren’t rich and still wonder who the rich Americans he referred to were.  I should say here that we never believed that he was speaking for the Governor or the FCO.

While we still lived in Isles Bay – until the October 2002 evacuation — every Wednesday morning I’d see Bev in her car soldiering her way across the Belham Valley, regardless of its condition, as she made her way to the prison where she was the psychiatrist.

Bev and I occasionally lunched together, always enjoyable experiences for me, and she was my mentor when it came to things psychological.  For example, when I was writing To Say Goodbye, I described my heroine’s mental aberration and asked Bev if this was possible in real life.  She replied, “It’s not only possible, but it has a name: paranoid projection.”  Then she went on to explain it to me.  Of course I named her in my acknowledgments.

She loved animals, shared my contempt of those who could be cruel to them and agreed on the importance of always having a dog in our lives.  She had dogs as well as cats.  And birds – I remember those pretty parrots on their Isles Bay verandah.

Bev had beautiful handwriting and took it well when I pointed out that she couldn’t then be a very good doctor, for everyone knows that American M.D.s have terrible writing; just look at their prescriptions – unreadable.  Bev’s prescriptions were very legible.

The realization that I’ll never see or laugh with Bev Kleeb again saddens me.  She was a good companion and my friend and I shall miss her.

S. Simpson

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A Moment with the Registrar of Lands

In 2008, I wrote an obituary for Bob Kleeb and, sadly, I’m now writing one for his wife, Bev – also known as Beverly Anderson, M.D.  While Bob quietly enjoyed being considered a curmudgeon, Bev was a cheerful liberal, irreverent about most things – even somewhat of an anarchist.  She was truly anti-establishment and could be counted on to disagree with my traditionalist, conservative views.  If we were still in the 1960s she no doubt would be marching along with the SDS on college campuses.

Bev and Bob remained in their Isles Bay home throughout the first long evacuation and were there when Tony and I were finally permitted to move into our Isles Bay home in December 1999.  They graciously invited us to share their Christmas dinner that year and indeed we did so with pleasure.  The Kleebs managed, as we also learned to manage,  without the usual amenities, i.e., electricity, cable television, hot water, etc. for another year or more until these luxuries were restored to us.  In fact, Bob and Bev were even without water for a couple of years and had to haul it from across the valley.

An individual from the Governor’s Office was reported to have described residents of Isles Bay Hill as “six rich Americans” who wanted to have electricity restored to their homes and is said to have asked rhetorically why this should come to pass.  This obviously mean-spirited, obstructionist attitude continues to puzzle us to this day.  Additionally, we knew we certainly weren’t rich and still wonder who the rich Americans he referred to were.  I should say here that we never believed that he was speaking for the Governor or the FCO.

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While we still lived in Isles Bay – until the October 2002 evacuation — every Wednesday morning I’d see Bev in her car soldiering her way across the Belham Valley, regardless of its condition, as she made her way to the prison where she was the psychiatrist.

Bev and I occasionally lunched together, always enjoyable experiences for me, and she was my mentor when it came to things psychological.  For example, when I was writing To Say Goodbye, I described my heroine’s mental aberration and asked Bev if this was possible in real life.  She replied, “It’s not only possible, but it has a name: paranoid projection.”  Then she went on to explain it to me.  Of course I named her in my acknowledgments.

She loved animals, shared my contempt of those who could be cruel to them and agreed on the importance of always having a dog in our lives.  She had dogs as well as cats.  And birds – I remember those pretty parrots on their Isles Bay verandah.

Bev had beautiful handwriting and took it well when I pointed out that she couldn’t then be a very good doctor, for everyone knows that American M.D.s have terrible writing; just look at their prescriptions – unreadable.  Bev’s prescriptions were very legible.

The realization that I’ll never see or laugh with Bev Kleeb again saddens me.  She was a good companion and my friend and I shall miss her.

S. Simpson