Some time last autumn, I wrote a long article about Lillian to celebrate her birthday and Origami Days and promptly lost it! Will now try and replicate it. On that first meeting with Lillian at Laura’s flat, she was teaching us after dinner. I could see at one point that Eric Kenneway was not sure of the line we had to fold to, so I was about to point out which one it was. Lillian thought I was going to point out the right one to him but she thought I was going to pick his model up. To do this when teaching someone a model was an anathema to her so she slapped my hand! L did not comment but thought – must watch this one….
We met the next time in New York in her Greenwich home. Eric had been there before when he had bought me several origami books. I rang to say we were going to be in New York the next day and we were invited to lunch. That was an event in itself. We had just started eating and the phone went. There followed a quite long and heated conversation which we did not understand as it was in Hebrew or Yiddish. At its end, Lillian sat down rather exasperatedly. “That was my brother in Israel. He wants to join the army! He is 76.” It was the Yom Kippur War.
Lillian then asked us how lunch was, which I remember included herring and sour cream. I told her that it was a bit more exotic than our usual meal. “Not exotic – kosher” was the reply. There were other visits to New York which I always managed to be around one of Lillian’s origami evenings. She would never know how many would be turning up but would provide a huge meal which would be stretched if necessary. Then folding would commence. As a guest it was expected that I should bring at least one thing to teach but as this was in the 70s I do not remember what I taught. I know that one meeting in 81 was at her Union Square loft.