Both Sides of the Pillow Case are Cool

15th December 2006

My friend Leslie Harpold died a few days ago.

When she heard about the baby, Leslie sent us a care package because she thought an email wouldn’t be enough of a celebration. It contained:

-Punk Rock Baby and Hip Hop Baby, lullaby versions of punk rock and hip hop classics
-Two bibs, one that reads, “Notorious B.I.B.” and another that says, “Mutha Sucka”
-A onsie that says “Mama ain’t rasin’ no fool.”
-And mittens to keep the baby from scratching. One says “LOVE,” the other “HATE.”

Those mittens, especially, made me feel like a mom for the first time. They got me thinking about tough little baby hands.

Years ago, I wrote a quote on our hallway chalkboard that said, “What you are thinking about is what you are becoming.” Leslie read it and cringed. “That’s hideous,” she said.

I wish you’d known Leslie. And if you did know her, wasn’t she something?

24 thoughts on “Both Sides of the Pillow Case are Cool

  1. reddirtroad

    You are kidding me? I am a loyal advent fan and was wondering what had happened.

    I’m really sorry. But from where I am, you were lucky to know her. I always looked up to her from a distance.

  2. Pingback: reddirtroad - leslie…

  3. latenac

    I’m sorry for the loss of your friend. I looked forward to her advent calendars every year. Reading everyone’s tributes has reaffirmed my somewhat sappy belief that you always carry with a piece of those who have touched you. And then hopefully also make the world a better place as a result. What an amazing woman she was.

  4. evany

    Thanks for the words, Maggie. I’m finding strange comfort in reading all these different eulogies sprinkled around the web, written by such very different people — a testament, I think, to the amazing person that was Leslie, someone who could have an impact on everyone in school, from the back-parking-lot heshers to the front-lawn cheerleaders. She died way too soon, but she still affected more people than other, longer-lasting sorts seem to manage in a full lifetime. Hip-hips and many toasts to Leslie!

  5. andrea

    funny! we got a similar care package from her. i like your onesie — ours had a t-shirt that said ‘never trust a hippie.’ i bet leslie never counted on her friends comparing notes on these sorts of things behind her back. that’ll teach you to leave us, leslie.

  6. Carrie

    Oh man, I’m so sorry to hear that. She was an amazing, inspiring writer and I’m sure she was an incredible friend. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve turned to the Harpold 500 for laughs or solace. Sorry for your loss x

  7. JewJewBee

    Sorry for your loss… I know words are often inadequate, but just know there are a great many people who share your pain and wish to help you ease your own…

  8. laurie

    Maggie, thanks for posting her link…and sharing this information. I’d forgotten all about the Advent calendar, and now have spent the last hour immersed in story after story of this fascinating person. May we all be so well-remembered, truly – and I hope she felt even half of the regard that people have for her while she was here.

  9. Nancy

    The news came as a terrible shock, even to those like me who never had the privilege of knowing her personally. Does anyone know what happened? Was it sudden, or had she been ill?

  10. jocelyn

    I remember back when I used to actually write things on the internet receiving an email from Leslie. She was equal parts of everything. Too sad.

  11. Peggasus

    I am so sorry to hear that.

    By some happy accident, hers was one of the first sites I ever found, and I treated myself to the archives of the Harpold 500 as if I was doling out precious gems (or really good chocolates), and even (still) have a list of my favorites that I re-read occasionally. She was one of the best writers, ever. I hope her site will stay up for new people to discover.

  12. Coelecanth

    I too only knew her from the Harpold 500. Her piece on playing guitar moved me enough to overcome my shyness and leave a comment, one of the very first times I’d done so on a strangers site.

    Her writing was fabulous and from reading these on-line eulogies it’s clear that that fabulousness extended well beyond the written word.

    My deepest sympathies to those who knew her, may your loss be tempered by your memories of how she touched and enriched your lives.

  13. Terry

    When the advent calendar stopped on day 7, I though tempoary setback. I checked the site every day. On the 14th I started to get an uneasy feeling. I searched today and found out she had died. Thanks for everything Leslie. You took the sting out of many a late night at work.

  14. Regina Clare Jane

    I went on to Leslie’s site and looked around a little and she was so inventive and creative- and funny. I loved her Advent calendar…
    I am so sorry for her friends and family- and all of us who wish we could have known her better.

  15. Wendy McLean

    I am so sorry that you’ve lost such a good friend. I found her Advent calendar by chance last year, submitted a story and she used it. I was amazed by her creativity! I lost a zany, creative, close friend of 25 years on Dec. 8 and I hope Scott, Leslie and all those creative funny people are together, laughing their asses off with joy!

  16. Amy

    I am so sorry for the loss of your friend, Maggie. Having just gone through that myself a little over a week ago, I know the myriad of feelings that wash over you as the reality sinks in. Especially when it’s so sudden.

    How wonderful that you have such treasures to remember her by.

    Much love & peace to you, Bryan and babyMason.

  17. Marn

    So sorry for the loss of your friend…I wish I had known about her sooner…she was a wonderful and creative spirit.

  18. Chrispy

    I found out by going to looking for a quick explanation of advent calendar. I visited her calendar every year. I was surprised by my reaction. I felt sad and reflected on my life. For someone that had no idea who I was, she had an impact on me. If she was able to do that, she must have been quite a special person. My condolences.

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