April 28, 2015
Los Angeles, California
Hero (noun) – Somebody who commits an act of remarkable bravery or who has shown an admirable quality such as great courage or strength of character.
Roberta circa 2001
I want to take time to give a special blog-out and public recognition to my good friend and Black Dahlia researcher extraordinaire, Roberta McCreary.
Roberta and I have been together for more than twenty years and not only did she do most of the initial historical research on the Black Dahlia investigation by spending months on end at UCLA’s Charles E. Young Library, in their newspaper archives (L.A. had six major newspapers in the 1940s) but, also she was the wind beneath my wings when it came to the much needed emotional support.
Since my investigation was completely sub-rosa (including my family) in those early months and years before publication, there was no one else, and from Day One–Roberta was there for me and has remained constant and true at my side, through the thick of it.
Roberta met my father (and June) in the final decade of his life. She was able to share a number of short vacations with me to San Francisco for visits, during which the four of us would take day-trips around the Bay Area, and then enjoy some fine dining with dad regaling us with endless stories of his and June’s life abroad–and their adventures while working and traveling throughout Southeast Asia, Japan, China, Hong Kong and Europe.
Photo of George Hodel taken by Roberta at lunch in San Francisco in 1997.
She took this picture just a few weeks short of his 90th Birthday.
(Father died in May, 1999 at age 91)
During those visits, Roberta saw in my father, exactly what I saw. A brilliant and sophisticated bon vivant. A man who had lived an exceptional life. Then, in his late-Eighties, had chosen to come full circle, and return to the city he loved, to spend and close out his final years with the woman he loved–June.
Neither Roberta nor I had the slightest hint of what was to unfold in just a few short years. No dark premonitions. No sense of foreboding. With George and June during that time we shared only fair weather and fun.
The dark clouds that were forming in 1996 were still far out to sea and would not pass over the Golden Gate and into the harbor for another three years.
Thank you Roberta for always BEING THERE. You are my true HERO.