"In Mexico City, we decided to take a walk together, to absorb the city as we talked. It was characteristic of our friendship with Barbara that we walked until our feet hurt, then walked yet further, huddling joyfully together against the chilly evening, and that we found a tiny shop which I never found again. It was Barbara's kind of place: deep, narrow, dimly lit and cluttered beyond description with a vast array of ethnic articles whose organization made sense only to the owner. We helped Barbara agonize over her choices....Among the things that she chose was a long stick, barely thicker than a toothpick, mounted into an upside-down test tube. At the end of the stick some patient native artist had carved and even painted a miniature dancer, performing a sacred dance. It was really visible only with a magnifying glass.
"I think Barbara loved that piece because it represented an important part of her approach to the world of human relationships. That tiny dancer, so easily overlooked by the less careful observer, opened a world for her. For it was always to the particulars, to the tiny details that Barbara looked when she sought to learn about others. And in these particulars she found enormous meaning and often hidden beauty."
1. Steven Foldes, "In Memory of Barbara Myerhoff," Speech, Minnesota, 4 February 1985.