Sunday, November 28, 2010
I was saddened to read in yesterday’s New York Times that BJ Lifton has passed away. A number of years ago I had the pleasure of doing some secretarial work for BJ, at the Liftons’ Ocean View Drive home. Above, the view from BJ's writing studio. I was struck by her no-nonsense approach to life, her intelligence, her compassion, as well as by the vibrant spirit that animated her diminutive frame. BJ could be seen occasionally on the beach walking her poodle, or out for a drive in the couple’s black Saab convertible, with top down. On such occasions, she would wear a scarf and sunglasses behind the wheel, looking very glamorous indeed. I was surprised to learn her age: 84. BJ invited me and Sven to attend the summary session of the Liftons' annual Seminar on the State of the World, led by husband Robert, which we always enjoyed. I used to take her flowers for these events, purple cosmos. She would thank me profusely. I spoke to BJ for a final time last spring, when she reserved our cottage for her son and his daughters. I knew she had been active in changing public opinion on adoption but did not realize the full extent of this influence, spelled out in the New York Times article. She saw that adoption should not be shrouded in mystery. I have family members who probably benefited from her early advocacy. Many people admired Betty Jane Lifton. I was one of them. She will be missed.
What BJ Saw ...