I first met Dennis Leri in San Francisco in 1978. He showed up at the house I shared with my housemate, Mark Reese. He said, ‘Hi, I’m here for a couple of months to stay with you guys.’
He had a black eye, and his jeans were held up by very wide rainbow suspenders. He’d arrived from New Mexico for an advanced training with Moshe. The black eye was from Aikido; the suspenders, an eccentric fashion choice. He was charming and smiling, and our friendship began.
We were roommates again in 1980-1982, this time with my family, including a new baby. Dennis delighted in observing her movement and playing with her. He was macrobiotic then and he would share his exotic supplements, like spirulina and blue green algae, with her. He was a kind and funny man. He loved to laugh and hear of the adventures of his friends. In the 40 years of knowing Dennis, I don’t remember him as speaking ill of anyone.
He was a good martial artist and at night, we’d share the backyard, doing horse stance and practicing our forms.
I remember the time he bought a new duvet cover in Japantown and wanted to show me how nice it was. I was so surprised that it was a bright orange. And as Dennis had trouble sleeping, I said, ‘Wow, how are you going to go to sleep under that?’ Then I found out Dennis was color blind and he thought the duvet was a restful green…a Dennis kind of moment…your perception is your reality.
Dennis was smart, a quick thinker, and a wonderful story teller. He liked to dress well. He was a Leo. He had many friends from around the world.
Most important, Dennis was devoted to his wife, Maria, and she to him. They were a team, not only in Feldenkrais trainings, but also in the other practices and circles of their life.
I met him before I did Feldenkrais or even knew what it was. After Feldenkrais, I’d call him for advice about what to do. His answers were always surprising and sent me down a tangential path that was useful.
Ahh, there is so much I would like to ask him.