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Yesterday In Phoenix
At the airport, a family welcomed their kid home from Iraq.


And at the hotel, you'd think they'd have cocktail piano in the bar for entertainment (it was an indoor outdoor bar at the Scottsdale Hyatt), but noooooo...


I was there, sadly, for the funeral of my close friend and former Advice Lady partner and partner in pranks, Marlowe Minnick. Here's a photo of the two of us. As far as I remember, some guy one of us didn't really like had invited one of us to dinner, and we both came, wearing a boa and a string of Xmas lights, and plugged ourselves in.


Posted by aalkon at March 5, 2005 8:19 AM


So sorry to hear about that, Amy. The book you co-authored with her was a great read and gave a taste of what craziness you must have enjoyed together on those New York streets...

Posted by: Doug at March 5, 2005 11:55 AM

I am so sorry to hear of Marlowe's death- I just read "Free Advice" today, after the NYPL finally found me a copy (p.s., I loved it!). She was quite the funny lady.

Posted by: Kate at March 5, 2005 5:17 PM

Thanks so much guys...yeah, Marlowe was a pretty amazing person.

Posted by: Amy Alkon at March 5, 2005 6:32 PM

And great photo of the lady with the "American Hero" sign. The look on her face.... I'm so happy for her!

Posted by: Lena-doodle-doo at March 5, 2005 10:00 PM

My condolences to you and Marlowes family. So sad- you 3 wrote a book that held such life and humor- I never met her Marlowe or knew her and I miss her. Keep your happiest memories of her close...

Posted by: eric at March 6, 2005 8:40 PM

Dear Amy, I'm sorry to hear that you lost a close friend.

Posted by: Rainer at March 6, 2005 11:40 PM

Thanks again, guys.

Posted by: Amy Alkon at March 7, 2005 12:14 AM

Dear Amy:

The photo of Marlowe brings back some of the best memories of my life.


Posted by: Shane Magee at March 24, 2005 1:42 PM

So glad to hear that...mine, too.

Posted by: Amy Alkon at March 24, 2005 1:47 PM

Even long after I lost touch with Marlowe, back in my early advertising days with Tom and Sue, I always felt her magic...Then one day she up and left for NYC and I lost touch with her. I was inspired by her perspectives and her wild guesses about what life held for me. She did what other's wanted to do and taught me what love and adventure really meant. I never forgot her. Today I found your blog and the news. Marlowe meant liberation to me. My warmest thoughts to all who knew Marlowe - she was indeed an amazing person.

Posted by: Mariella at August 14, 2005 9:58 PM

And to think that Free Advice has become so popular!

From the original NYC Free Advice Man (J.P. Fenyo)who was written-up in The New Yorker in 1987 to you guys in early 90s and beyond!

Well...may your friend rest in peace!

Posted by: Cathy at August 22, 2007 4:38 AM

I can see from your IP address that you're in Bethesda -- probably JP Fenyo himself. How pathetic that you have to post this on the entry of my dead friend. I'm not erasing it because I don't do that.

JP Fenyo contends that he had the idea first and we read the New Yorker story on him. We didn't, but even if we did, ideas aren't copyrightable, their executions are. Lucy Van Pelt was the modern originator of what we do (via Charles Schultz); Aristotle and Socrates came first.

People don't pick up my column because I gave free advice on the street corner; they do it because they like what I have to say. Clearly, what you had to say isn't so interesting, which is why you not only have to live a life of revenge, but to live it out on a memorial to Marlowe. What do you do in your spare time -- picket funerals with Fred Phelps?

Posted by: Amy Alkon at August 22, 2007 5:56 AM

Marlowe had more ideas in a week, and great ones, than you'll ever have in a lifetime.

Posted by: Amy Alkon at August 22, 2007 5:58 AM

My husband's ideas are VERY INTERESTING:

anyone can see that for themselves at

infinitysociety org . Just remember to put a point after society. Or just look up his name on any search engine.

And the true story is also evident for all to see.

Lucy was about 5 cents.

You guys were about taking credit for someone else's idea.

JP is about infinity, love, peace, truth, freedom, honesty, etc...

Posted by: Cathy at November 25, 2007 11:22 AM

Cathy, The Advice Ladies are no more. If you and your husband are still griping that somebody "stole" his idea, I think he has no business giving anybody advice.

Today, Matt Welch and Nick Gillespie published a piece in the Washington Post about Ron Paul in which they mentioned that some people call themselves "fiscal conservatives/social liberals." I've actually been telling Matt for years that I'm a "fiscal conservative/social libertarian." Maybe he heard it elsewhere. Maybe he heard it from me. I read it and went, "Hmm, wonder if he picked that up from me?" -- and didn't think to go on a 20-year campaign to whine that somebody "stole" my words.

Posted by: Amy Alkon at November 25, 2007 12:22 PM

Furthermore, this is a site I pay for. It is not a billboard for your gripes about how your husband imagines I've wronged him. You've got a message you want to put out there - do it on your own bandwidth. This is a memorial to a dead friend of mine. I says everything about you and your husband that you come on here to leave these little comment turds.

Furthermore, there is nothing, NOTHING, stopping your husband from making use of what he started -- except, perhaps, the fact that people seem uninterested in hearing what he has to say. I'm not in papers because I gave free advice on the street corner as a sort of prank years back, but because people think my ideas and humor are worth running.

Finally, about your continued griping...hasn't the guy done a fucking thing since?

And no, you don't get to answer that here.

Posted by: Amy Alkon at November 25, 2007 1:20 PM