Joy and Addis by
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Joy and Addis 

I’ve written about the memorable time in the early 1970s  when my husband Danny was working in London for a year and we lived in a rented flat in Chelsea off the Kings Road.   (See Laundry Day in London,  Kinky Boots,  Valentine’s Day in Foggytown ,  and Intro to Cookery)

And I’ve written about the unforgettable British friends we knew there.  (See Inks and Derek: Art and the Cricket Scores and Munro)

Joy and Addis,  who were our upstairs neighbors at 20 Royal Avenue,  are two more who became unforgettable,  life-long friends.

New York born,  Addis was 20 or so years older than us,  and during WW II had supervised the construction of fighter aircrafts.   After the war he settled in Los Angeles and co-founded the Nervous Nine,  a progressive Democratic fundraising coalition,  and went on to be a Southern California manufacturing entrepreneur.

By the 1970s Addis was serving as a management consultant to major American and European companies,   and while working in England met Joy by serendipity at the Coventry railway station,  a sweet story they relished in telling.

Joy was British and about my age,  and when we became their London neighbors she and Addis,  like us,  were newly-weds.  Theirs was obviously a May – December marriage,  and a most loving and devoted one.

Joy was a marvelous cook and the first time they invited us to dinner,  I went up to their flat early to watch her make her specialty – roast beef and Yorkshire pudding.

Danny was a business newbie then and gradually came to consider Addis as a business mentor and they stayed in touch after we returned to New York.  And a few years after that  Addis’ London stint was up and he and Joy left Britain for Malibu,  California.

There over the years we visited them in their beautiful home on the Pacific Coast Highway,  stayed in their guest house,  and swam in their wonderful pool.   And we were intrigued to learn that the artist David Hockney was a personal friend of theirs,  who like Joy,  was a British transplant.  Known for his many iconic swimming pool paintings,   the artist,  they told us,  had painted their pool.   Hearing that,  our young son Noah opined that they first had to drain the water so the guy could get in to paint it!

Years later as Noah’s bar mitzvah approached,  we invited Joy and Addis,  and to our delight they flew to New York to celebrate with us.  Over the years Addis continued to be a trusted business mentor to Danny,  and we were heartbroken when in 2005 we got the sad news that our old friend had died.

We stayed in close touch with Joy,  and when Santa Monica friends invited us to their daughter’s bat mitzvah I called Joy to say we’d be in southern California for a long weekend.  In order to spend as much time together as we could,  Joy took a room at our hotel.  When my Santa Monica hostess learned that,  she thoughtfully invited Joy to the bat mitzvah and luncheon.

Since then Joy’s health has been failing and we hope to get to the west coast to see her again.  But I’m so grateful for that last lovely California weekend we spent together!

David Hockney,  Pool with Two Figures

– Dana Susan Lehrman

Profile photo of Dana Susan Lehrman Dana Susan Lehrman
This retired librarian loves big city bustle and cozy country weekends, friends and family, good books and theatre, movies and jazz, travel, tennis, Yankee baseball, and writing about life as she sees it on her blog World Thru Brown Eyes!

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Characterizations: moving, well written


  1. Khati Hendry says:

    Sweet story! What lovely memories 😀 Was that painting of Joy’s pool??? I always liked Hockney’s paintings. I hope you are able to make it to the West Coast to see Joy again.

    • Thanx Khati, truthfully I’m not sure if this is the painting of their pool, I’m sure I knew at the time and somewhere have an image of the accurate one, so please excuse the poetic license.

      Joy is still living in their beautiful Malibu house but sadly has lost her sight. I don’t know if she still swims in the pool, or rides horses which was her passion. I fervently hope to see her again.

  2. Betsy Pfau says:

    Thank you for sharing this story of enduring friendship, Dana. I love the connection to Hockney – indeed known for his paintings of SoCal pools (can’t believe you know WHOSE). I think the take-away here is to cherish each moment one has with such dear friends. You’ve made it clear that you do.

  3. Hi, I came across your story of Joy and Arthur quite by chance after a random google search. I married my childhood sweetheart in 1968 at St Mark’s Church on the Overcliffe Gravesend Kent England. We met when she was sixteen and I was seventeen. We only had until 1988 when she sadly died. Her name was Janice Pearl Young. I don’t know if you know but Joys maiden name was Young. Joy was my wife’s older sister.
    In around 1986-7, my wife joined Joy and Arthur at their home on Pacific Coast Highway in the knowledge that she only had a year or so to live. I recall she had a fantastic holiday with her mother, Joy and Arthur. I will try to send you a couple of photos of Joy and Arthur that may interest you.
    I was very fond of them. Thanks for bringing back memories of them both together.
    Alan Deakin

    • Wonderful to hear from you Alan, my sympathy on the untimely loss of your wife.

      I haven’t been in touch with Joy for some time and your words have moved me to call her again, sadly she has gone blind.
      I don’t know if you remember that she called her husband by his last name Addis, and thus that’s how I referred to him in my story.

      I very much look forward to seeing your photos and a hardy welcome to Retrospect, I hope to read more of your stories!

    • John Zussman says:

      What a lovely and serendipitous post, Alan. That is exactly the sort of connection my wife and I hoped to foster when we co-founded Retrospect almost ten years ago.

      We were also 16 and 17 when we met, so I can only imagine your heartbreak. Patti joins me in sending our condolences on Janice’s loss, as well as our wishes for your own health and happiness. Welcome to Retrospect.

  4. Betsy Pfau says:

    Amazing what the internet will tell you these days. So happy that you found Dana’s story and shared this update with her and all of us who read her lovely account of her deep friendship with Joy and her husband. I send my condolences on the early loss of your wife, but it sounds like she had a wonderful visit in California during that final year. That is a blessing.

    Thank you for sharing this with us and welcome to the Retrospect family.

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