Wendy's Blog

Photo: Karen Tina Harrison

Max Jacobson: An Extraordinary Human Being

by Wendy Keller, lapsed friend

This morning I found out that my old friend and client, renowned restaurant critic Max Jacobson, was hit by a texting driver just a few days before Christmas.  He’s still in very critical condition.  (The restaurant community in Las Vegas has rallied around him with a gala fundraiser.)

Max is a highly unusual human being.  He speaks something like 15 languages – well enough to joke in them – and he has a photographic memory.  I agented a book for him, and we became friends.  One of my fondest memories: he would  invite me to eat with him at restaurants he was reviewing for the LA Times, insisting I promise not to tell them he was a food critic. Then, when we’d get there, he’d pretty much order one of everything on the menu and taste everything on every plate!  (I think that always blew his cover, but what do I know?)

The news that he had been hit- and that that spectacular brain of his had taken the brunt of the incident – came as a cold shock this morning.  I found myself reeling, tears falling, scrambling for information, writing fervent emails to other journalists who know him until I figured out where and how he was.

Then it hit me: Max was just “there” in my life.  I probably haven’t spoken to him in a couple of years.

I care about him, I like him, that never stopped, but I let our connection slide.

How naive to assume that people we love and respect will always be there!

How foolish of me to feel close to him in my heart all these years, but not reach out to reconnect!

What other people I consider “friends” have I neglected?

What friends have YOU neglected?

In the course of our lifetimes, we meet so many people.  We bond with some more tightly than others.  Some stay in our atmosphere, some drift away.  A single male friend I know often brags that he never stays in touch with any of his exes – that as soon as they are gone, they are gone. I secretly think that’s odd. I tell myself I keep everyone close, but do I really?

How rare and precious it is to connect at a heart level with another person! Can we afford to forget people?

If you’ve let a formerly-precious friend drift away,

take a moment right now to find them and reconnect.

You’ll be glad you did.


If you’re going through a tough time in your own life, please help yourself to a copy of my free eBook “The Top Ten Tips to Coping With Crisis”



  1. This was a great reminder to never take either our friends or our time for granted because we only have right now…and every good bye could be our last. <3

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