Gosina Mandersloot (1941-1998)

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December 8, 2020, Gail Pheterson writes:

Hello to you all, Marthe, Dan, Katy,

It's Gosina's birthday today. She would have been nearly 90, and I wish she was.

Thinking of her and her nearest and dearest who became mine, thinking of you, thinking of Judy.

Katy Keller writes:

Well I'll be darned... it's Marthe's birthday today too. Celebrate! Virgos.

Dan's foto is my precise memory of Gosina. At dusk as a kid I would sit on the ledge of our balcony watching swallows devouring bugs as Judy watered the geranium pots... Gosina would poke her head out over her carpets airing on her railing, Edith Piaf playing in the background... Judy would invite her to dinner (as if it weren't a standing invitation!)

I didn't really absorb dinner conversation: feminism, Feminine Mystique, fetishist, fanatiscism, Flemish art, phlegm... mostly I'd listen for the short burst of inhaled breath that punctuated the end of each of Gosina's sentences alternating with her ringing laughter.

We loved Gosina Mandersloot and Josephine Powell. They brought the exotic, the literary and the adventure to our household. One summer Gosina came to Giglio with her niece Barbara and nephew Mattias. I hadn't known that hair could be so blonde. They taught me to say aisle poop (donkey shit) and to eat hopjes (coffee flavored hard individually wrapped candies). Gosina flavors my childhood.

Happy Birthday Gosina

Dan Keller writes:

Yes! Happy bday, Go!

Here is the earliest picture of her that I could find (1963).

That's her on the left, looking down from her balcony to ours one floor below, on Via del Gesu` (Jesus Street) in Rome. Yes, we lived on Jesus Street. Gosina was our oh-so-sophisticated world-traveler/journalist/author upstairs neighbor and tenant and (I found out only many years later) lover of Josephine Powell, our other upstairs neighbor. (That's not Josephine in the photo, it's Karen Jacobs, another story, not a good one...)

Gosina nearly 90? Impossible! She will always be clever -- no, brilliant -- beautiful and youthful.