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Posts Tagged ‘Merla Zellerbach’

Merla Zellerbach with model Katiti Kironde in October 2009. Photo By Drew Altizer.

Merla Zellerbach with model Katiti Kironde in October 2009. Photo By Drew Altizer.

I was sad to learn that San Francisco socialite and author Merla Zellerbach passed away this last December. I had the pleasure of meeting Merla in 2009 when her publisher contacted me about reviewing her mystery novel – Secrets in Time (Firefall Media, 2008).

When I showed up at one of her readings, Merla couldn’t have been more gracious. I was instantly taken with her easy manner as well as her sartorial choices. She sported no logos or ostentatious accessories, just a pair of slacks and a colorful soft sweater with a long strand of pearls. The ensemble was simple and of impeccable quality and she looked lovely. Her hairdo was unfussed and red lipstick brightened her translucent complexion. At that time she must have been in her late 70s and I admired her classic look. I decided that when I reach Merla’s age I will emulate her effortless sense of style.

I crossed paths with Merla several times over the next few years. One meeting I recall we talked about signature looks and I commented that hers was the long strand of pearls. A little surprised, she said she had never thought of that. She wasn’t particularly interested in jewelry but often reached for the pearls to complete her outfits. She seemed pleased with the idea.

Merla followed my fashion column on Examiner.com and I appreciated the occasional e-mail from her of congratulations or sometimes a comment. She was a columnist herself for the San Francisco Chronicle, having penned the popular My Fair City from 1962 to 1985. I felt honored when she once wrote: Your writing is sharp and creative, and always fun to read.

So for that and more, thank you Merla. I think of you every time I slip on my own long strand of pearls.

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