Music and Art High School represented a turning point for me, as a person and in my hopes of becoming an artist. Perhaps it was even more so for Enid, who was determined to become and indeed became an accomplished artist.
In our last year there, we worked in the same studio class. I had become well acquainted with Enid’s deeply colored semi-abstract still lifes. After graduation, we lost contact, but some fifteen years later, I experienced instant recognition of her work from that class. House hunting in the Philadelphia suburbs, I saw a piece on the wall of one of those solid Bala Cynwyd dwellings, and exclaimed to the owner, “Where did you get that Enid Epstein?” She explained that it came from her cousin, now Enid Mark, living in Wallingford.
Enid and I met when we were fourteen at first assembly in the ninth grade. It felt freeing to be able to sit anywhere after the constricting unmemorable assemblies in my prior school. As I looked around to see where to sit, I caught a glimpse of a classmate, Enid, smiling at me and chose to sit next to her. We were treated to a chamber concert by advanced music students. Soon we were drawn to the same crowd that loved music, as well as art, meeting in New York apartments or setting out for New Jersey, which was then open fields, crossing the George Washington Bridge.
Enid, obviously gifted, was well ahead of me in literature and writing. In her yearbook, I wrote that she would become the art editor of the Herald Tribune, and I would come to her as a starving artist. It didn’t happen that way, but she lived up fully to her award of “Meet the Press,” which was to be expressed in her combining words and images in her beautiful handmade books.
I came on the scene, in about 1980, when as a teacher in charge of the yearbook at the Miquon School, I brought in the 1950 Music and Art yearbook for my students to see. “My friend Enid Epstein went there,” exclaimed fellow teacher Kay Finney. That led to the first of hundreds of dinners together, family events, cultural happenings and celebrations that bound Eric and me deeply to Gene and Enid. We counted them as among the best of the best, and a week didn’t go by when Enid didn’t call to see how a vacation went, how my children were, to give me Smith College news, to inquire if I was writing another book (no) and to discuss everything that makes women friends close. We remain deeply connected to Gene, as well as to dear Melanie and Peter.
[The following is a picture drawn by Enid for the 1950 Music and Art Yearbook. Marilyn Lager e-mailed it to me along with her remembrance above. - Peter]