God gave us memory
so that we might have roses in December.
— James M. Barrie
Recently I find myself missing Nancy, and my mind turns to memories of her at odd
moments. Nancy was a first-class host; wonderful and gracious person; and quite simply a human being of lovingkindness. I have also always gotten a kick out of the fact that her
father invented the bobby pin! Her autobiography All You Need Is Love captures her
relentless enterprising spirit.
Nancy initiated me into TM a couple decades ago, which I still value and appreciate. TM Founder Maharishi Mahesh Yogi wrote: “The important thing is this: to be able, at any
moment, to sacrifice what we are for what we could become.” That concept is a vital one as we journey on our life experience, and works hand-in-glove with the more recent
confrontational query by Spencer Johnson: “What would you do if you were not afraid?”
I have never been a fan of zucchini, and never will be. Period. However, I have been
addicted to Nancy’s version of the famous Dr. Bieler’s broth ever since I first tasted it. It is time to reactivate in my life this terrifically delicious and satisfying soup which by the way helps eliminate acids from the body. I’m sharing the recipe she gave me, and to the
delight of many people a version is included in her autobiography. My preferences are to have it cold with some basil and fresh ground pepper sprinkled on top; the optional use of string beans in place of zucchinis doesn’t work for me at all. Be as may, she included some options and variations as identified below.
Nancy’s Bieler Broth
One-quarter pound butter
Four medium zucchinis (equal amount string beans is an option)
One large peeled baking potato
One-half head of celery, or four large stalks
One large white onion
One-half bunch parsley
Crack celery and peel the strings, and then chop vegetables in large pieces (including
parsley). Place them in a pot. Add water to just below top of the vegetables (do not cover with water). Bring to boil and cook for 20 minutes. Add butter, put in a blender and process until it is smooth. Serve hot or cold. Add at serving as preferred items like basil, curry
powder, oregano, sour cream, chopped green onion, cilantro.
April 12, 1922 – February 28, 2013
Nancy Cooke de Herrera, an inveterate traveler, began her next journey February 28, 2013, with her children present in Beverly Hills to offer a peaceful farewell. She enjoyed a life sufficiently full to require three autobiographies: All You Need Is Love: An Eyewitness Account of When Spirituality Spread from the East to the West (2003), Never Tango with a Stranger: Love in Peron’s Argentina (2008), and Around the World with Nancy Cooke (in preparation). Born in Oakland, April 12, 1922, the daughter of Edward Irving Veitch and Marie Beatrice Morledge, Nancy attended Piedmont High School with her lookalike sisters, Ardagh Marie Kistler and Doryce Lorillard Hills Wells, then Stanford University. In 1942 she married Richard Alexander Cooke, Jr., with whom she raised three sons, Richard Alexander Cooke III, Starr Edward Cooke, and Leighton Brett Cooke, while living in Hawaii. They were divorced in 1951. Subsequently Nancy married Luis Alberto de Herrera and moved to Buenos Aires, where they bore a daughter, Maria Luisa de Herrera. After Luis’ untimely death in 1955, she founded a public relations firm in San Francisco. Selected in 1956 as the US Ambassadress of Fashion, she travelled the major capitals of the world on tours organized by the United States Information Agency. Later, at the invitation of the Kremlin, Nancy led a delegation of San Francisco businesswomen to the USSR. She toured the United States, lecturing on the fashions and cultures of the world. In 1962, Nancy visited many of the holy men of India, an experience that changed her life. Upon her return to California she married Morton Barrows Jackson (whom she divorced in 1975) and moved to Los Angeles, where she was one of the first American students of Maharishi Mahesh Yogi’s Transcendental Meditation. She introduced TM to much of the Americas. In 1968 she studied in India’s Valley of the Saints and became an independent teacher of meditation. Among her classmates were the Beatles, who immortalized her and her son Rik in “The Continuing Story of Bungalow Bill.” These were the first of 40 trips to India, a country she loved. Nancy taught TM to the end of her life. Hundreds of students, many notables of film and music, visited her house in Beverly Hills for instruction. Readers were moved by the account of her Indian “spiritual journey in self discovery” (Dominick Dunne). Nancy was a fully supportive mother; she encouraged her children them to develop unique lifestyles. She provided a home to many friends, who spanned the world; she had an address book for each continent. Long active with the Colleagues, one of Southern California’s most prominent charities, Nancy was a major supporter of Molokai’s Hui Ho’olana educational center, where a building has been erected in her name. Nancy is survived by her four children and two sisters, as well as four grandchildren and three great grandchildren, and numerous in-laws, nieces and nephews. Her ashes will be deposited in Buenos Aires, Molokai, and Piedmont, California. In lieu of sending flowers, Nancy’s family suggests that memorials be made to Hui Ho’olana (PO Box 280, Kualapuu, HI 96757; http://huiho.org/contact.php).
— Published in the “Los Angeles Times” on March 8, 2013
Thanks for the “roses”, Nancy.