Town Square

Post a New Topic

When a light goes out in a community …

Original post made by Jay Thorwaldson, editor emeritus, on Dec 9, 2008

The death of Phyllis Seidman in early December has prompted scores of comments in the Town Square online forum, uniformly expressing deep sadness whether or not people knew her personally or just had seen her cruising around town in her wheelchair accompanied by her fluffy white Samoyed dog, Sintah.

This story contains 907 words.

If you are a paid subscriber, check to make sure you have logged in. Otherwise our system cannot recognize you as having full free access to our site.

If you are a paid print subscriber and haven't yet set up an online account, click here to get your online account activated.

Comments (7)

Like this comment
Posted by Peter
a resident of another community
on Dec 9, 2008 at 2:17 pm

Jay, thanks for a lovely rememberence.

Like this comment
Posted by Carroll Harrington
a resident of Community Center
on Dec 9, 2008 at 4:21 pm

Jay, this is absolutely beautiful!

Jay and Joan Jack were instrumental and really worked hard, inspired by Phyllis, in forming the support group. I coordinated one or two art shows featuring painting by people with MS. She, and they, were tremendously inspirational. Thank you, Jay, for these wonderful memories.

Carroll Harrington

Like this comment
Posted by Sandra Lonnquist
a resident of Midtown
on Dec 9, 2008 at 8:58 pm

Many thanks for sharing her story - I had frequent sightings of Phyllis and her dog during my doggie walks in PA but did not know the story. I have a niece age 25 who was diagnosed with MS the month she announced her engagement. She just accepted her first job after graduation as an emergency room nurse however, the disease seems to have other plans for her.

The story you shared illustrates how one can continue to contribute to the community in spite of personal challenges.

Like this comment
Posted by Ron Wolf
a resident of Menlo Park
on Dec 10, 2008 at 10:10 pm

I agree that this is a touching heartfelt and wonderfully written column. Thank you Jay for this and for all that The Weekly does for our community. However, your comment that "Some attention might be paid to intersection safety citywide, but everyone adopting safer-driving habits would be a wish granted by a fairy godmother." is off base. The pedestrian death rate in California, especially in our cities, is outrageous. 25% of traffic related deaths in California cities are to pedestrians and bicycle riders. This a moral outrage. There is so much that can be done to make our community safer for walkers, joggers, and bikers.

Like this comment
Posted by Margo Ritter
a resident of Menlo Park
on Dec 16, 2008 at 3:31 pm

Jay, that was a wonderful article about Phyllis. As Volunteer Supervisor at the Palo Alto Medical Foundation, we saw her often and always enjoyed our chats. We miss her terribly but remember her fondly. Thanks to the Palo Alto Weekly for keeping us up to date !

Like this comment
Posted by Alice Schaffer Smith
a resident of Green Acres
on Dec 23, 2008 at 9:49 am

Alice Schaffer Smith is a registered user.

Although Phyllis was in my bookgroup, I joined only after returning to the States, and therefore knew none of these amazing stories of a brave and caring friend.

Like this comment
Posted by Dorothy Black
a resident of another community
on Mar 9, 2009 at 6:45 pm

I was part of the Palo Alto community from 1950 to 2000 and Palo Alto On Line keeps me in touch. The 2 negative comments about Jay Thorwaldson and his article on Phyllis reflect more on those who made them. They seem angry about something but give no clue to any cause for feeling this way. Multiple sclerosis is a tragedy, Phyllis rose above her disease and Jay is honoring her. What reasons have they for writing so negatively in this particular situation?

Don't miss out on the discussion!
Sign up to be notified of new comments on this topic.


Post a comment

Posting an item on Town Square is simple and requires no registration. Just complete this form and hit "submit" and your topic will appear online. Please be respectful and truthful in your postings so Town Square will continue to be a thoughtful gathering place for sharing community information and opinion. All postings are subject to our TERMS OF USE, and may be deleted if deemed inappropriate by our staff.

We prefer that you use your real name, but you may use any "member" name you wish.

Name: *

Select your neighborhood or school community: * Not sure?

Comment: *

Verification code: *
Enter the verification code exactly as shown, using capital and lowercase letters, in the multi-colored box.

*Required Fields

You Dirty Little Thing
By Laura Stec | 9 comments | 8,816 views

Celebrity chef pulls out of BFD Menlo Park; to reopen as new concept
By Elena Kadvany | 6 comments | 3,730 views

“Housewife” a Journey of Transgender Marriage
By Chandrama Anderson | 0 comments | 1,824 views

Holiday LEGO Show
By Cheryl Bac | 2 comments | 934 views

New traditions in an ancient land
By Sally Torbey | 2 comments | 493 views