The wonderful NYT obit writer Margalit Fox sends off Janet Wolfe, a spectacular old New York dame who died at 101. Excerpt:

There was Ms. Wolfe the indefatigable budget traveler. “You meet a lot of people when you travel, especially if they spill something on you,” she said in 1974. “On the plane to Cannes from Paris, I sat next to a nice Fascist from Monaco. He liked Nixon, so I let him pay for the wine.”

There was Ms. Wolfe the accidental participant in history, as when, in Venezuela to take a job as a governess, she wound up aiding the revolutionary cause of a new friend, Rómulo Betancourt — he would became the country’s president — by hiding his gun in her lingerie.

“You should have seen the gat in my pink panties,” she told a newspaper at the time, “all wrapped up so the cops wouldn’t find it.”

There was Ms. Wolfe the tenacious, impecunious tenant of a rent-controlled apartment, who battled the threat of eviction as perhaps only she could.

“I walked into the courtroom and saw this kid,” she said in 1989. “I said: ‘You’re the judge? I could be your mother.’”


I dare you not to read the whole thing.