We found out today that Madeleine L'Engle died. I saw her twice, once when she was a guest at Lunacon, and once when she was a guest at Mythcon. She gave basically the same speech, of which I remember two bits. First, she achieved a certain popular notoriety when one of her teachers, convinced she was chewing gum in class, ordered her to "spit it out". This she did, but what she spat out was her retainer, as she was not, in fact, chewing gum. Second, her class was broken into pairs, each pair having a bit of garden where they could plant whatever they wanted. She and her partner knew that poppies made one see strange visions, so they decided that they would plant poppies. When the poppies bloomed, they put the petals on bread and ate a poppie petal sandwich.
The Lunacon at which she was a guest was pre-Escher Hilton. We'd been at whichever hotel it was for some years before and since, if I recall correctly. In addition to her speech, she and her husband read aloud a scene from A Wrinkle in Time. If you've read the book, you can probably guess which scene. I don't believe that there was a dry eye in the room when they were done. We'd all read that book.