Addie Gold, former high-school librarian, with close friend Claire King, in 2012.

Friends recall librarian Addie Gold’s generosity, humor

Former librarian Adeline “Addie” Gold died at the age of 92 on June 12. But she will be remembered at Country Day for her hospitality and humor.

History teacher Sue Nellis recalled how animated Gold, who worked at the school from 1976-85, was.

“I remember her being really willing to do whatever needed to be done,” Nellis said, citing a school ceremony for which Gold dressed in gold to represent one of the school colors at the time.

Both Nellis and English teacher Patricia Fels said that Gold was friendly and welcoming.

“I went out to her house one time in Davis,” Nellis said, adding how Gold showed her around the property. “They had the most wonderful long backyard with fruit trees and gardens—it was kind of an inspiration to me!”

Fels also remembers the garden, as Gold would grow cherry tomatoes and give some to her.

“(Gold) was a real gardener,” said Fels’s husband, history teacher Daniel Neukom. “She would bring over tomatoes, and Fels would have them for dessert because they were so incredibly sweet.”

In fact, for Fels’s wedding shower, Gold brought her present, a bowl, filled with her signature tomatoes.

“I remember thinking, ‘Why bring the bowl?’” Fels said. “The tomatoes were that good!”

Claire King, Gold’s Davis neighbor and a close friend, also appreciated Gold’s garden.

“(One of my favorite memories) was her wonderful produce, which they generously shared,” King said.

King was also a school librarian. “We could talk books and reading for hours,” King said.

Once, when the SCDS library was being remodeled, King and Gold talked about the plans.

“We pored over the plans together,” King said. “I even made a trip to Country Day to look at the things as they were in progress.”

Even when Gold moved to Seattle in 1988, she called King every other week to talk about books, art exhibits and neighborhood friends.

Once, when Fels and Neukom were travelling in England, they met Gold and her husband, Eli, who were living there while Eli, a college professor, was on a one-year sabbatical.

Gold and her husband showed Neukom and Fels their favorite pubs and bookstores.

When Neukom and Fels met Gold in a pub, they felt very welcomed.

“The pub knew (Gold) well because she had been going there for such a long time,” Neukom said. “It was very warm and friendly.”

Gold was also known for her sense of humor, a quality which Fels remembers well.

Before Gold came to Country Day, Tim Grieve and Steve Davis, both ’82, used to make up book titles and place funny fake cards for them in the card catalog. Gold would occasionally find them when sorting through the cards.

“Instead of getting mad, she just thought they were hysterical,” Fels said.

One of the made-up books, supposedly written by Davis, was titled “How To Keep Secrets From Even Your Best Friend.”

The description read, “The author describes his clandestine activities with at least two members of the opposite sex, activities (especially movies) which he kept secret from even his best friend. ‘He’s a bum’ — Tim Grieve, New York Times Book Reviewer.”

Another is titled “Having Fun with Fingers and Hands” and is said to be written by Fels.

“She had a sense of humor,” Fels said. “And I think that’s important for anyone, especially a librarian!”

“(Gold) was very salt of the earth,” Neukom said. “She was of the best grandmother personality.”

Previously published in the print edition on Sept. 16, 2014.

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