His first wife and best friend, Jan Jewell, organized the whole thing and did a lovely job. It was at the Mountain Winery (IIRC, it had been the Paul Masson Winery for years). The setting was gorgeous; Leonard would've loved it and the windy drive up to it. I'm not a big fan of windy roads and was thinking mostly of Dramamine, but that's okay.
I wasn't sure what kind of food might be served, so I made myself a breakfast of crepe-pancakes "pseudo-British style" with lemon juice and granular Splenda to fill myself up before I got there. As I arrived, I saw familiar faces and was reminded of how many crowds Leonard and I both ran around in. Some of these folks were people I had known primarily through my ex-husband, and whom I hadn't seen in 15 or 20 years.
My speech went well. All the speakers were excellent.
In at least one case it looks like I may be rekindling a friendship with someone who my ex managed to bias me against by telling me lots of lies. Nasty ones. So nasty I don't even want to say them. Anyhow, he's out of my life and she's back and that's good.
I wasn't sure whether folks who knew me from that era (primarly through him) would even remember me. It's hard to express a personality when you've got this big, hulking, domineering Jerk with "the social skills of a doorknob" (my friend Wuthel's quote, not mine!) pulling your strings and beating the snot out of you when you don't comply with his wishes. I always saw myself as in his shadow, always stuck with him blaming his negative opinions on me (such as "I really like your music, but my wife doesn't" when it was he who didn't like someone's music) and quietly standing there while he went on and on about his latest hacks.
Leonard, my ex, and I ran around in some of the same circles. Luckily for me, when I left my ex, I found more friends and wound up in even more common circles with Leonard. I was pleasantly surprised when folks from the "old crowd" remembered me and even more surprised when they seemed glad to see me.
I learned about cases of Leonard's generosity I hadn't previously known about. I knew he was a big fan of Heather Alexander's, but didn't realize he had also helped her financially. I also learned of other such cases, such as one guy who worked for IBM and got Leonard an employee discount price on laptop units so he could buy them for people.
What had me head tripping were my various interactions with Leonard over the years. Leonard always seemed to think I could conjure up a CD of my stuff easily. We'd agreed he wasn't the right person to record my stuff because we had different theories on recording (he was an audiophile, whereas I wanted to recreate different recording styles for different cuts).
Whenever Leonard and I talked about anything, he always made me feel like his intellectual equal. He honestly seemed to feel I could do anything he could do if I put my mind to it, and he may have been right. I kept feeling like I'd let him down over the years by underachieving.
Leonard and I were creative in different ways. I tend to be creative in more "traditional" ways -- art, music, cooking, sewing. Anyone who doesn't think computer science is a creative art needs to look at his body of work. He had so much more in him...sigh.