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December 14, 2012

Rozann Stayden.

My friend Rozann Stayden died on February 24 this year. We met in Cincinnati as students in 1977 and, a few years later, she moved to Washington, D.C., where she eventually attended law school.

In both of these very different cities, Rozann Stayden knew everyone. And she seemed to meet anyone interesting, compelling or promising before anyone else did: the rich, poor, powerful, famous, struggling, bohemian, academic, literary, political, young, old, displaced, exotic. She was attracted to the genuinely interesting.

That Rozann was a lawyer does not begin to describe her, or help in the least to explain her influence on every man or woman who ever met her. That fact just gets in the way of the portrait. At best, that was a small, possibly important and probably amusing detail. Lawyer-ness wasn't finishing or defining for her. In others, without a lot more to show for themselves, it simply did not impress her. It was like a high school degree.

She demanded much, sometimes too much, from herself and others. She had way too much energy, moxie and wants for one human. Passionate, smart, funny, driven, opinionated, difficult, organized, fearless, hopelessly irreverent, inpatient, kind and warlike. She was never politically correct, thought of it as a comical but unfortunate character defect, and tended to dislike people who were.

Rozann intrigued and startled you. She came on strong, was opinionated and often frightened, especially at first, all but the strongest men and the most curious, discerning women. She had hundreds of longtime friends from all walks of life in the United States, Europe and Asia. She laughed a lot, and uproariously.

Rozann, words like authentic or original to describe you fail in understatement. You were Self-Made in every respect. You were "highly-correct" even when we fought, disagreed or misunderstood each other. Happy Birthday, Girlfriend.

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Posted by JD Hull at December 14, 2012 03:21 AM


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