A few moments, years apart, stand out:
The first was in 1987, when I drove from Chicago out to DC to seek some comfort with friends during a rough patch. I met Paul at Northwestern, we became close friends, and stayed in touch with him and Kukula after grad school, until they moved to DC in the mid-80s. I remember that Kuku and Paul welcomed me, made me feel at home. This was when they lived around 16th Street in DC. I don’t remember exactly what we ate (it must have been good!), but I remember we went grocery shopping and sat around in the apartment and talked a lot, and I spent the best part of a couple days just getting back to normal in the company of these giving, loving people. Kuku made me feel part of her family when I was missing that the most. (The photo of Kuku and cat is from that trip.)
The second was just a couple of years ago. I was in DC in the spring for a conference, and it ended early on a Friday, so I spent several hours on a quiet, lovely afternoon in the offices of the Washington Monthly with Kuku and Paul, engaged in deep conversation ranging from current events to politics to music and culture. After an hour I stopped looking at the clock. Kuku and Paul were interested in--and conversant in--everything. And while they didn’t always agree, there was an evident mutual respect for each others’ ideas and opinions, and a delightfulness to the conversation that was entirely in the moment, and rooted in a lifetime of shared learning, experience and love.
We saw Kuku together on the Glastris family "Return to Chicago" tour in Rogers Park in 2013. It was a great pizza party with lots of great conversation, beer and laughs. Marina and I had a great time with Kukula and Paul and family and friends.
We will miss Kukula dearly, and we are so sorry for your loss—all of our loss.
--Greg and Marina Wass