Tuesday, June 30, 2015


It was fascinating to be an openly gay priest in Santa Fe:  I became a sort of instant celebrity. Various churches wanted me to be on panels and make presentations.  Only the very protestant Disciples of Christ and some cognate had begun ordaining 'practicing, self-professing homosexuals' then, and none of their ministers were out. I found particular favor with St. Bede's Episcopal Church, which was very gay-friendly with a very gay-frightened bishop. St. Bede's asked me to do quiet days, teach EFM, and do classes. It was in one of those classes that I met one of the most important people in my life.

What the topic of the class was I forget now, but I had some magazine article by a woman who had lived in Santa Fe. After the class a little gnomish woman with a carefully preserved Bavarian accent came up and asked whether she might borrow the article. The woman who wrote it had stayed with her when she was in Santa Fe. The little gnomish woman was Lore Guldbeck, something of a Santa Fe legend in her own right. There was no one she did not know, it seemed. She became a constant member of any class that I gave, and soon she invited me to dinner. Her favorite meal was spaetzle, about which she took serious umbrage when I compared them to my grandmother's dumplings.

Lore really deserves a blog for herself, so my posts will only be a glance of what was a remarkable life of a remarkable woman. She was born in a small town in Swabia that I remember as Budenhosen but which I cannot find by that name, into a family that was the caricature of Hitler's hated Jews. Lore never knew she was Jewish until she could no longer attend her school and the Lutheran nanny who had taken her to church could no longer work for her family. Her older brother and sister were able to migrate to the United States early in the 1930's. Lore was too young to go with them, and her family did not want to leave their wealth behind and leave when they could. So she was sent to England as part of the Kinderhostel program which accepted German children. Her parents told them she would see them again soon, and she went off to Leicester where she cooked for the air base. She was an friendly enemy, called an Austrian on the base roster. It was probably there that her career as a serious spaetzle cook began.

The organist at St. Martin's Cathedral continued her piano lessons, and she also found some other youngsters to play tennis. But her parents she never saw again. They were able to bribe their possessions onto a ship which was sunk off the coast of Italy, but it was too late for themselves. They took cyanide rather than go to the camps.

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