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Neil Lehrman

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Neil Lehrman Obituary
Neil Lehrman

Died on Saturday, March 7, of a cerebral hemorrhage-he was 76. His death was a shock to friends and family.

Born in New York, Neil grew up near Washington, DC, graduated with B.A. and Master's degrees from the Univ. of North Carolina, and was a resident of San Francisco since 1968, where he produced poetry readings and plays, and went on to become a partner in the CPA firm, Johnson, Levie & Lehrman.

To his many friends in the city and everywhere, he was The Captain-to the children of these friends, he was the amazingly benevolent Uncle Neil. He gave each of them special attention that continued into adulthood, supporting their endeavors and often taking them on travels in the U.S. and abroad.

In 1968, he and Merrill Leffler started the poetry magazine Dryad, named for one of Neil's favorite poems, John Keats' "Ode to a Nightingale": "That thou light-winged Dryad of the trees . . . singest of summer in full-throated ease." By 1976, they were publishing literary books under the imprint, Dryad Press (www.dryadpress.com).

Neil was the author of Perdut, a novel set in the 1970s in the Catalonian village of Tossa de Mar where a small group of revolutionaries imagined independence from Madrid and tried to act on their ideals--the novel dramatizes the dedication and plight of their failed movement.

While Neil kept returning to Tossa over the course of 40 years to meet up with other returning friends, he was also a traveler of the world. Africa was one of his passions and he published a vivid chapbook, Mindful Journey: A Traveler's First Safari.

Lines from Alfred Lord Tennyson's "Ulysses" could well characterize Neil's many passionate engagements: "I cannot rest from travel; I will drink life to the lees."
Published in San Francisco Chronicle on Mar. 15, 2015
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