John Gardner at Home

Memories from Emily Sherwin

Dear John,

I got Jenny’s note this morning. Of course it was not what I wanted to hear, though I was already a bit worried after hearing that you would not be coming to ALPC. Any sensible person would have cancelled that engagement long ago on account of the treatments, but I know you well enough to understand that only something serious would keep you from the fun of flying 10 hours to present a paper in a foreign city…

One thing I have learned this past year is how impressive Jenny is. I never met her – she was away when I was in Oxford with Jian and then bringing the family to Ithaca became too complicated. But her notes are wonderful – she is so eloquent, and funny, and her love for you shines through every message. Do you by any chance have a digital photo of you with family? I’ve realized that I never took pictures while you were here, and I’d love to have one if there is one handy.

I hope you know also that you are still missed at Cornell, especially in our little faculty lounge. Just today, Jens Ohlin was talking about you, saying that he could listen to you talk all day long, whether the subject was philosophy or food prep. Which of course led to stories of our many trips to Wegman’s, which led on the story of the unbelievable curry you made at our house, which led to more stories of the day you arrived here –delayed in Newark airport but cheerfully confident that they really would not cancel all the Ithaca flights. Then when you finally arrived sleepless in Binghamton the next day, I decided to take the scenic route, lost my way, and drove you straight into a cornfield. I miss that fall!

You are much loved by me and Kevin and Jian and your many friends here in Ithaca.


PS: One more thing to add might be that five of us, all friends of John, have been working on assembling and editing a volume to be called Oxford Handbook of New Private Law. It will be 36 chapters by different authors on problems of private law; it is mostly finished and should be in print through OUP sometime next year. Not surprisingly, John is cited in almost every chapter, and his work is often discussed at length. The editors (Andrew Gold, John Goldberg, Dan Kelly, Henry Smith, and me) talked recently and decided to dedicate this book to John. We will send you a copy as soon as we can!

Meanwhile, I have on my desk here a container of grindable sea salt, left to me by John from his Ithaca collection exotic cooking items. I look at it every day to remind me of his memorable visit here!