Nola Safro 1942-2018

My mother, when she was 92 told me that the hardest losses are your closest friends, as they are the fabric of your life. They share your history, and if they were your childhood friends, they share your hopes and dreams.
Nola and I were born within 18 hours of one under under the same full moon. It made for a lifelong connection of shared birthday wishes and celebrations.
We shared the same passions, New York, film, theatre, the arts and good food. We loved to laugh as we also had a similar sense of sardonic humor. Our politics were shaped by Vietnam and civil rights. We were both early environmentalists, and political activists. We loved to travel and tell our stories. Hers was a bit more exotic as she roamed the planet with 20/20 News for years. She has a keen eye, and a caring heart.
Our first kiss was on stage, in 4th grade when Prince Charming bussed the lovely Snow White. We did My Sister Eileen in our Sr play, as she was the newly arrived mid Westerner into the Greenwich Village apt where The Ramblin’ Wreck from Georgia Tech lived upstairs.
We met for lunches and dinners in New York, her preferring uptown where she lived, and me preferring Greenwich Village where I lived. We compared our lists of recently seen art house films and both had a passion for the old French New Wave films. We would talk for hours about dance and theatre.
Once when we were both still single, in our early thirties, over dinner in a Vietnamese Restaurant on Univ Place, I posed the possibility of us becoming a couple. “Are you nuts?, and lose this friendship?, not gonna happen buddy.”
And so we continued for 40 more years as friends.
She was a powerful woman of great spirit and intellect. It was devastating to watch her fight the cancer in her final years. But she was valiant and determined to squeeze every bit of life out of the inevitable surrender. To my friend Nola I cannot thank you enough for our shared life and times, with wonderful memories and laughs. For sure, my birthday will never be the same without you. May your spirit live in others, forever.

  1. Reply Joe Mc March 4, 2018 at 11:45 am

    Thanks Ken.

    Much more personal and warm than the notice in today’s NYT. I knew her somewhat, but after reading your comments, I feel I know her much better.

  2. Reply Phil Schnayerson March 4, 2018 at 2:32 pm

    Ken I don’t know you but we shared a love for Nola. What you wrote was really lovely.

  3. Reply Sue Levine Mirsky March 4, 2018 at 4:34 pm

    This is so beautiful, caring, loving. It should be read at her memorial service. Her death leaves a void in all of us. Thank you for sharing this with us.

  4. Reply Alexander Zilo April 11, 2018 at 11:39 pm

    I have fond professional memories of Nola at 20/20.

  5. Reply Annette Niemtzow May 8, 2018 at 2:28 pm

    We just learned of Nola’s death. She was a strong and compassionate woman. We will miss her. Annette and Eve

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