Shanika Perera Perera itibaren Pwani, Tanzanya
This Author, Valerie Taylor also wrote "Return to Lesbos," a popular lesbian novel from the late seventies, and several other books in the Lesbian Pulp Fiction genre. I read them before time began. She had been married with children until she came out, and had one son, possibly two. When I first knew her, she was a dear woman, just past sixty years of age. Her life partner of many years, lesbian Lawyer Pearl Heart, had died just before we met. I was proud to call her my dear friend for years. We visited, chatted and exchanged letters for many years. She published a book of Poetry with another lesbian poet, Jeannette Foster, author Of Sex Variant Women in Literature, a mighty overview of lesbians in literature. She was involved in, and Keynote Speaker at two Lesbian Writer's Conferences in Chicago, organized by Marie Kuda and other lesbian Writers in the Chicago Area. When she retired from her long time job at a clipping service and from her daytime editor job, she moved, First to Margretville, New York, where she lived in the small town of her dreams. Making a fresh start in life in her early sixties. She had a brief but passionate affair with a widowed straight woman, who broke her heart. She spoke of this woman but once to me, when she later quipped, "These mixed marriages never work out." She had a very bad fall on the ice that winter, and broke some bones. When she recovered, her son helped her move across the country to relocate someplace with no ice. She always had pain where she had broken bones, Tucson, Arizona was the place she chose to rebuild her life from scratch yet another time; this time permanently. She became Mother Goddess to a whole new group of young lesbians, who loved her and lovingly cared for as she aged. A couple or three women moved in to care for her for several years, until she was unable to live at home. Then she moved into a nursing home, where her friends raised money to pay for the cost of her care, and checked on her daily until her quiet death. She died surrounded by her friends, and was mourned Nationally in Lesbian and Gay Media. I, too, mourned her, and took comfort in the fact that she had a productive, full life and was beloved by all who knew her.