Memories of Cay Horner (1937-2018)

My best friend Connie told me about
Cay, meeting her on a hike, saying
she was a librarian and her house
is like a museum— my heart took

a leap since libraries & museums
are my favorite places to visit.
Connie and Cay hiked 3x a week
covering the entire Bay Area.

They took me to the most scenic
sights so I'd be delighted at their
discoveries. I learned much from
them on wild flowers while hiking.

Cay invited Connie and me over
for Thanksgiving dinner in 2005
& her tossed spinach salad with
grape tomatoes was delicious.

She told me about the tapestry
in her living room bought for $50
from a used book dealer that's
covered with dirt and grime.

Now it sparkles— a museum piece
like the Unicorn Tapestries at
Cluny in Paris & Cloisters in
New York— peerless & priceless.

Cay loves music with thousands
of CDs, and I wished to listen to
Beethoven's "Eroica" that broke
new grounds in symphonic music,

While I was uplifted by this gem,
Cay & Connie went to another
room to see their hike photos—
amazing closeup of a rattlesnake.

After the 19-year old crossed
the lane and smashed into her
in a head-on collision in 2007,
he dying instantly, she in a coma

for four weeks, I wrote a poem
about that ordeal. But when she
recovered, we went hiking again,
she in a wheeled-walker, going

to Shoreline in a docent-led trip
listening to bird callings, playing
tapes to attract them closer—
such is the adventurous nature

of Cay Horner— always learning,
kind and generous, courageous,
a great friend to Connie & me—
it was a privilege in knowing her.

        Peter Y. Chou
        Mountain View, 8-19-2018

Portrait of Cay Horner
by Jeanne Mort Wardrip