Cary Lu

Stephanie Tombrello[hidden]

Cary was a perfectionist, of course, but not one who judged others who couldn't be. He decided on chairs, no couches, for a while and had the most interesting collection around. He was the first to go into China to photograph the pandas when the country was opening.

He was the first graduate student at Caltech to present a Beckman Lecture--and when he did, he revolutionized the way such presentations were made. I can see him and Jessica Tuchman keeping the multi-video presentation going, when such creations weren't done. When he came back a few years ago to re-give the lecture as a treat for Caltech, we were caught up in the enthusiasm for what we remembered as well as what we were seeing.

Cary decided to become a cook--and we had feasts. Cary shot "nematode" on my dining room table with a host of daughter Kerstin's toys and later made her a "star" for the tiniest bit of Sesame Street--but even that spot was kept around by Sesame Street for years. Friends would remind me as their younger children were introduced to Sesame Street that they'd seen her again.

Cary kept in touch, even when he was traveling the world--not with post cards but by dropping in to talk, share, meet your family, and then, they found he was a friend, too.

Meredith and Nathaniel fascinated him, and they seemed to have such a good time together. Ellen took in Cary's old friends and made us welcome. We went walking, met the Canadian geese, despite their messy life style.

Knowing we were coming in from China, expecting to hear that he was in Glendale, a trip he couldn't make in July, Cary made sure that another friend left a message so we wouldn't worry when we couldn't find him. Thoughtful, too.

All of us know Cary was bright, creative, enthusiastic, careful, perceptive, able to induce others to pursue new ideas. And his way of living has now prompted an obituary that evokes his consideration and generosity. As I sit at the DUO he helped me select with a few choice comments--and then later forgave me for having the dirtiest computer extant, I am very glad that I had a little place in his life. And so do Tom, Karen, Kerstin, Susan, Vanessa, Bob and many, many others.

With love, Stephanie