Friday, October 28, 2016

In Memory of Howard Lefkowitz

In Memory of Howard Lefkowitz
      Howard Lefkowitz passed away too soon; we lost him in 2007 – today would have been his 80th birthday.
      Last year a number of us lucky enough to know and work with Howard were remembering him.  Here is (slightly edited) what we shared:
        Tom Rutledge:
But for his untimely passing, if my math is correct, today would have been the 79th birthday celebrated by Howard Lefkowitz.  He remains a treasured friend to many of us. For those of you who never got to know him, you missed out on a wonderful person.
I submit that a glass of wine should today be raised in his memory.
        Lou Hering:
And it better be good wine.    Howard had great taste in wines and always selected great ones for our meetings!
        Bob Keatinge:
D’accord.  I guess that means that Bill, Allen, and I can’t salute Howard at Shelby’s.   Howard was not only a wonderful person, but also a great partnership lawyer.
        Lou Hering:
He was that, but I think a single malt scotch would also fit the bill.
        Allan Donn:
One of my wonderful memories of Howard and Marty - after Susan and I had dinner in New York at which Marty and Sandy had planned to join us but were unable to do so, I spoke with Marty about the bill and he said, “Oh No, you didn’t let Howard select the wine.”
        Lauris Rall:
Well I just had a glass of Malbec with a client and while not thinking of Howard specifically he has a piece of my heart always.  Although he did not show affection easily in his last year he did things selflessly that helped me and those acts will never be forgotten.  I hope his spouse Midge is doing OK.
Looking forward to seeing you all soon and raising a glass to Mr. Wheaton whom I just had a pint or two of Pumpkin Ale in a Boston Pub.
        Bill Callison:
Hear!  Hear!  One of my very favorites and deeply missed.  Thanks for the reason to think about him. 
        Jim Wheaton:
My very first dinner with Howard (Orlando ABA meeting in 1996) involved him choosing the wine.
No offense to anyone else on the list, but his was my favorite Lubaroff dinner. Bittersweet given the timing, but for what it meant to Howard and Midge, and Sandy, it topped them all.
        Peter Hutcheon:
As most of you know, I had the great good fortune to become one of Howard’s friends - fairly often we would have rather lengthy and complex discussions, as likely to have been about the implications of tonal variance between “his” part of The Book and “mine”, as the scope of legal review required to give an opinion about a Delaware LLC (ALL of Del contract law and anything else affecting Del contracts, in addition to the Del LLC law).  And I can confirm - having tasted some - that his wine cellar, esp. in the Berkshires, was WELL-STOCKED with liquid assets.  So it is with humility, pride and an unending sense of loss that I can report that at the ABA Meeting in Atlanta in ‘04 he allowed me to choose the wine.
Re Tom’s suggestion of a fine Cal cabernet, my sense is that Howard was of an age and taste that particularly venerated French wines, so let me suggest perhaps instead: a Cos, a Lynch-Bages, a Mouton; or a Vosne-Romanee, a Beaune; or even L’Hermitage or some other great Rhone.  To the extent one would follow the lead of eminent Del counsel (not at all a “Red Herring”), may I commend Talisker to your attention (it is in a way the “family booze”, coming from the headquarters of the Clan Donald [Mac, not Trump] on Skye).
Midge -whom we see in NY, in the Berkshires and at Silver Lake from time to time - is well.  She is now on an outing to South Africa.  I will pass along your very special observations and observances, which she will cherish.  Thank you all, and esp. Tom, for remembering.
        George Coleman:
I would be remiss not add a few recollections of Howard and Midge and some of the evenings that Jean and I spent with them at various ABA BLS meetings.  Howard and Midge along with Marty and Sandy rode subways together in NY, dined together in SF, NY, Chicago and any number of other cities. The wine was always important, so much so, when in some little spot in SF, the waiter, not realizing that Howard was actually going to ready the WHOLE WINE LIST, just to see if  we could dine there, made a snide comment to Howard about taking too long to make up his mind, whereupon we got up and left. That was Howard at his best. He and I jogged together in NY, SF, Chicago and in most other cities we met in.  When he said after one jog that he didn’t know if he could keep jogging at our meeting was when I knew he was really not well.
I counted Howard as a mentor and companion along the way. 
It is good to remember.
        Gerald Niesar
I have held back, as usual, to avoid what might be considered ill-advised, improper, or downright obnoxious comments.   However, since we are dwelling on Howard, and his wine fetish, I cannot any longer hold myself in check.  The only thing I can say in self-defense is that Howard thought my revelations were so important that he insisted on taking notes.
We were sitting next to each other at a Combined Wine Tasting/Dinner event at Omi’s Farm several years ago.   Howard was waxing eloquent about wines, his extensive experiences in connection therewith, and several other things, which included, as I recall, or joint recollections of being members of that rare breed of beings, former Naval Officers who had been billeted to DERs.    (Don’t ask, it is too painful.)
I mentioned to Howard that several colleagues of mine from Oakland, where the school board had recently imposed a requirement that some of the courses be taught in Ebonics, had decided It was time to have an Ebonics Winery.   He naturally asked what (the hell) I was talking about.  I explained that this was a Winery in West Oakland that produced wines that had a fine bouquet, great nose and, at the same time, a name that related to the local culture.   Again I got that rather impertinent question.     So, I said:          
Well our first vintage definitely has a French character---it is called     Clos de Door.
Then we have developed an extremely dry red wine that is drawing great reviews and following:     PeeNo  Mo
Finally, we are about to release our first sparkling wine (a.k.a. Champagne)  which we call:     Sho Nuf du Pop.
I swear that in Howard’s archives you will find the notes from this conversation.
        Ann Conaway:
I too have not said anything but I’ve decided I will now reverse that. Several years ago I invited Howard to be a speaker at one of my Delaware symposia. I was talking about RUPAs articulation of the duty of care. My stand was that the RUPA duty of care was not a fiduciary duty but rather a statement of degrees of accountability. As I was leaving the podium Howard signaled to me. He whispered that he had enjoyed my presentation but that I was completely wrong. That’s the way I’ve learned with this group over many years. Thanks to all - past and present - for the memories.
        Beth Miller:
I have laughed out loud as I have read some of these and have teared up as I have read others and have savored remembering time spent with Howard and the rest of you. I treasure you all as I treasured Howard.


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