My memories of Hester Anson

Death Index
Hi, if you have followed a search engine... looking for Hester, You might know me as Becky Lundin. I do not know the hows and whys of Hester's death. These are early memories, not the later years.

I was Hester's best friend... back in the days of innocence and fun. This is a work in progress and might change from time to time.

These memories are from the late 1970's, some of my dates, and names maybe wrong. I have done the best I can in those two departments. I was 12 years old in 1976.

Hester and I met through another girl who lived in our neighborhood. I liked Hester right away and we became very fast very close friends. We were both extroverted and opinionated. She was creative and supportive. Hester was and maybe will always be the closest friend I have ever had. We lost contact in the early 1980's. I saw her a few times after that... but our friendship was never as close.

Hester was physically gorgeous, but it was her spirit, her personality that was stupendous. Everyone loved Hester... no one could resist her. She had a dry sense of humor and could be sarcastic and at the same time loving... I know that is hard to imagine... you had to have known her!

I tended to be more Polly Anna then her. She was a cement for me at times. She didn't hold her punches and would tell me when I was being too soft or worrying too much about what others were thinking. We were both tom-boy-ish at times, but she never lost her feminine side. Hester was better at English and I was better at math. Sometimes her math homework made her cry and sometimes my english homework did the same. We would call each other for help.

We would support each other when one or the other of us had a crush on a boy. We would go looking for that boy and try to help each other get with him. We agreed most of the time about what boys would be good or bad.

Hester developed scoliosis in her spine and had to wear a back brace for awhile. It hurt her and made her cry sometimes, but she didn't let the world see that. It chaffed her and she wore these body suits that her mom constructed for her to help with that. She covered it up by wearing sweaters and jackets and was still lovely and graceful. After it came off, she had the most incredible hourglass figure. The only other residual from it was that she held her shoulders slightly pulled forward.

Hester and I lived near the Claremont Hotel in Berkeley. We would walk up to the hotel pool and go swimming in the summer times. It was members only, and we were members... but I think we drove the staff there crazy. Hester had a crush on the snack bar guy for awhile, so we would find reasons to go hang out over there a lot. We never swam laps, but bumbled around in the water. Sun bathing was a favorite past time as well. Hester did not like swimming as much as I did, sometimes she would lay in the sun on the side of the pool and I would swim in circles in the water near her. This worked well for us to keep talking and keep doing the thing we liked better. In the women's dressing room was a "giggle" machine. You know those machines that have a thick rubber strap you put around your waist and then turn on. It shakes you up. I have no idea what to call that machine... but we liked to think it would make our waists smaller. After swimming we might run around inside the hotel. Take the elevators up and down, check out hallways... maybe hit the gift shop.

In the winter we might walk to the Bread Garden bakery, and buy meringue cookies.

We frequently wondered around Berkeley and met people. Often just starting conversations with complete strangers. Hester was often the initiator of this. Funny how things were safer for kids back then. We liked talking to the street people. We talked to Serge, an old guy who stood on the corner yelling math equations at the top of his lungs. We liked the "dot man" too. The dot man wore white over-alls, a white hat, white shoes and stood on a white sheet... all covered in dots. I think they were painted and can't remember the colors. He would stand on Telegraph avenue in Berkeley and mime that he was fishing. Once when we asked what he was doing he replied "I am fishing for people". At other times he would reply like a 'crazy 8 ball': 'the answer is yes' 'maybe so'. He had a sweet smile and was one of our favorite characters on Telegraph.

Sometimes the Cozmonites (later the muffin family) would hike up into the Berkeley hills. We hung out up there, really not doing anything... just exploring or talking.

We called our wandering "Hacking around".

There were many kids in our neighborhood. We would all get together sometimes at monkey island (a small circular park near our homes) We played a game called "Keep a foot". It was a sort of hybrid between football and keep-away. Hester's brother Jeremy Anson would sometimes come and play with us too.

Later in the 1970's, Hester and I started hanging out a lot at Ho Chi Minh park (later renamed Willard park) and at Durant avenue. On Durant there was a pin ball place called Silver Ball Gardens. We didn't often go in to Silver Ball, but hung out, outside and drank coffee at the coffee shop near by. At Ho Chi Minh park, we hung out with a tight group of friends. We were called the Cozmonites and later joined with some other friends and called our group the Muffin Family.

Hester's brother Jeremy Anson and several other boys in or neighborhood were part of the Berkeley Trailers Union (BTU). They rode BMX bicycles in the Berkeley hills. Once we picked a fight with them by writing "BTU Sux" on the wall at Ho Chi Minh park. This was only after several of them had called us bad names and scared us. The BTU declared us enemies and for months we got to keep an eye out for them and run away if we saw any of them. It really was a game and neither side would have really hurt the other... It kept us busy for most of a summer.

In the summers, on the weekends, in Berkeley back then, each mid to large size park would have a band playing in it,. Hester and I liked to go from park to park and dance. We both loved the music. We also loved to go to Grateful Dead concerts, but those happened only every so often and were not free.

I was sent to boarding school in 8th grade, and saw Hester less because of that... but we wrote letters. We would add art work to our letters... I missed her so much... but her letters made me feel happy. I think I may still have some of them. At some point I will look for them and if I find them I will scan them and put them on this page.

I understand Hester has a daughter named Gabriela, some day I would love to meet her. I hope she has her mother's spirit and love of life!

I am Rebecca Lundin Bryant. My email address is rebawho @
Last update: Thanksgiving 2006