Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Desi

Yesterday, I got up very late (for me, that is: 8:30), got my coffee, and wrote the Easter entry on this blog. I then went into Facebook and, after scrolling down a bit, was stunned to see a post from Tonya D.L, that Desi Starr had died Sunday night. I looked on e-mail and found a message from Mary H.:
"...Desi passed away last night. He was at our house for Easter brunch and I knew he hadn't slept much the night before, but he has been having trouble sleeping for several years. He was recently diagnosed with an aneurysm on the aorta near the kidneys and he didn't plan on doing anything about it, so he knew that he had limited time, maybe 5 years, we didn't think it would happen quite so quickly. At some point last night after speaking to his daughter, Sioban, he called 911 with extreme back pain. She said he had to really be in pain to do that and I agree. Around 2:30 she gave us a call crying and asking if we could go to the ED at SOCH because she wouldn't be able to get there in time. Jim did his best, but Desi's heart stopped and he passed away a couple minutes before Jim was able to see him. I know email is not the best way to let you guys know, but it's the most efficient since I do not have most of your phone numbers and lack the will to talk to you at this point in time. I will let you know about funeral arrangements in case you are able to attend..."
I got into acting because of Desi, as I had taken his acting course (which was very casual), then auditioned for some things. Later, he sometimes simply named me for a part (he was petty autocratic, as anyone who knew him will affirm). He directed me in a number of productions and we weren't always of one mind, that's a cinch. But he had founded the Little Egg Theatre Company (LETCO) and was the heart and soul of it. What a loss! Jim and Mary Henry were very close friends with Desi and Jim, an internist, was his doctor. They performed a lot together and of course, we all acted under his direction. Desi was not some mild, saintly old man--he and I had our run-ins over the years--but was an interesting person just because of that. He had been born in Ireland and had acted on Broadway many years ago. We're all incredulous, and so sorrwful, although he was several years over 80.
Aside from the above, I went to WinCo, the library, and a few other places. Fed Sebastian at Ellen's. I called Nancy, who is in the middle of extensive dental procedures (she gets two teeth pulled today), then Joyce. Left her a message and she called me back at 9:20! I tried to convey that that's too late unless a meteor is about to hit, but didn't want to be rude. I'm interested in hearing about Joyce's knee replacement, so we made a date for lunch next week. I'm not sure if we're each others "types," but once we get to know each other better, maybe we'll click.
The wind was incredible yesterday; very wild and leaves, branches, even whole limbs came down all over the place.

2 comments:

iloveac said...

Rosemary,
Sad to hear about Desi.
95% or more of patients who have ruptured aortic aneurysms die. In '02 Rich had an aortic aneurysm in the same location as Desi's, but it didn't rupture...he had surgery in time to repair it. Surgery isn't usually done until the aneurysm (bulging vessel) measures a certain amount of centimeters in size.
Perhaps Desi's wasn't large enough to do the surgery or it was, and Desi elected not to have the surgery.
Nevertheless, it's a loss to those who loved him.

Mimi said...

Mary did say Desi didn't plan on doing anything about the aneurysm. I didn't even know anything could be done about them; in fact, I'm not too clear on what they are. I know people have died suddenly before realizing they had one. Anyway, it's a sad time for LETCO.