June 13, 1979

The below letter, published in THIS ‘N THAT (1987), was written by Kathryn Sermak to Bette Davis. You can pre-order Kath’s upcoming book MISS D & ME: Life with the Invincible Bette Davis here.


My Dear Miss D., Mother M.:

On Friday, June 13, 1979, we met; a little girl from San Bernardino not really knowing who Bette Davis was, or anything about her profession. You taught me so many things:

To have great care in doing whatever it is one does; to fight for what you believe is right and to admit when you are wrong; to be a part of life and not watch it go by; to accept the risk of failing, and the risk of feeling; to know love and recognize hate; to understand that if everyone likes you, there must be something wrong.

You said you had a hunch about me, one for which I am forever grateful. I will cherish all our experiences, from our first trip to London to the last, and the delight of working with you on these pages.

You will be with me wherever I am. On another trip to Paris, you teased me and gave me a new nickname. I will sign off with it now. If the meaning of it is unclear to anyone else, no matter. You know and you’re the one who counts.

Always my love,