I’m one of Ali’s uncles. At some point in time, when Ali was at Mills, shooting out the lights, I heard she was thinking about law school. Because I’m a lawyer, I thought that was pretty cool.
Sometime thereafter, I called my dear sister Annie at Sea Ranch. Ali answered the phone. We were happy to find each other on the other end of the line, for we didn’t talk all that often. Very directly, she asked me if I enjoyed being a lawyer. After I said yes, she asked me why. I gave my explanation, and she subjected it to a withering cross-examination. Damn!, I thought. She’s not only going to be a fine lawyer, she’s going to be a famous judge. She was then but a junior in college, yet I was already beginning to worry about having to appear in her court.
Sometime after that she told me she thought it was great that I enjoyed being a lawyer.
Ali would have been a fine lawyer. But instead, she followed her spirit and passion for dressage, tall ships, the marlinspike, teaching and the sea. She did not dabble in any of these things; she excelled at all of them. And for that I admire her greatly.
On a very deep level, Ali became the family’s muse for independence and determination. And for that (and much more, of course) we’ll all miss her very, very much.