I am sad to tell you that Lynn Jeffress of Lunch with Lynn passed away on December 16, 2016 after a battle with cancer.
I vividly remember our last lunch together in July, 2016. It was quite hot for Paris, about 90 degrees and we dined on escargot at L’Escargot, indoors in the wilting heat. Lynn loved the heat and the hotter it was outside, the better she felt. A few years ago she spent a month in Taipei in the sweltering humidity and loved every minute it.
I remember the first time she invited me to come to lunch with her at Le Reminet and what a delight it was. Each month after that we would email each all excited about other new restaurants we discovered that had under 20€ lunch menus. Lynn was a very private person and did not like her photo taken. I would always try to coax her to take let me take a photo but she refused. When we celebrated our fifth anniversary of Lunch with Lynn in 2014 at Le Reminet, she made an exception and I took the above photo. There was a single rose on our table and I suggested she put it between her teeth for fun and voila!
I have such fond memories of our lunches, some excellent, some weird, some bad and one had such small portions, we both went home and had a second lunch. Lynn was pretty game like I was when it came to trying new types of cuisine or new chefs and over the course of seven years of lunches we ate French, Turkish, Moroccan, Chinese, Thai, Lebanese, Vietnamese, Indian, Italian and Senegalese food.
Besides our monthly lunch outings, we went to exhibitions and cultural events and also traveled together. Lynn introduced me to the charming town of Trouville in 2010 and one of my other fondest memories was a three-day trip we made to Trouville and Le Havre in August 2014. In the past five years Lynn took up painting and painted mostly landscapes and still lifes. DeStael was Lynn’s favorite painter and there was a DeStael exhibit in LeHavre, which was the impetus for the trip. I didn’t know who DeStael was and once I saw his astounding use of color and form, I was also smitten and he now moves to the top of the list of my favorite artists.
Lynn was born and raised in a small town in Oregon and France was her second home since the age of 19. She was a very accomplished and proficient writer, poet and playwright. She is the author of The Dali Code and Other Paris Stories. She translated La Traversée du Livre, which is Jean-Jacques Pauvert's memoir from French to English, for the new edition Sade's Publisher: A Memoir. Following her Ph.D in French and French Literature, she was part of a class of thirteen students hand-picked by Ken Kesey, author of One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, for a group novel writing experiment. After a year of work, the novel, Caverns, was featured in People Magazine and published by Viking Penguin Press. Lynn also taught university classes on poetry, screenplay and short story writing and playwriting.
Lynn was a stickler for correct English and when I struggled with my writing and grammar, she would help me out. (I pray my grammar is correct for this post).
Lynn, I will miss your smiling face, your laugh, your intelligence, your crazy political opinions that I didn’t always agree with but appreciated and most of all our monthly lunches.
I will continue our monthly lunch pilgrimage and hope you found some Under 20 Lunches in heaven.
Click here to read past Lunch with Lynn blogs.