When I got my first job in New York in 1998 and was in the fun position of decorating my apartment, I fell in love with a floor lamp in this great little store in the West Village and kept “visiting” it. On one trip, there was a woman shopping a few feet away and she was wearing a coat with the hood up around her face. Only when she turned for a moment did I realize it was Rue McClanahan.

We locked eyes for a moment and she knew I recognized her, but I made the decision to respect her privacy since she was so obviously shrouding herself from onlookers. This was no feisty Blanche.

What I would have said, simply: “Ms. McClanahan, I adore your work. Thank you.”

R.I.P. Golden Girl.