I asked if he remembered her being elated.
“I do,” he said. “But also it was a project with a lot of problems. Stress. Deadlines. It was a design challenge, but also a business challenge. She had to get the project done. These things had to be manufactured.”
She traveled to San Juan twice, the second time to supervise the installation. Among the attic discoveries was a Caribe Hilton postcard that she sent to her in-laws in Cleveland in January 1963. “Here on business — working like mad but enjoying the warm weather,” she wrote, signing it “Lonesome Helen.”
The casino project was a triumph, but there were setbacks. While she was working on it, or shortly after, my father lost his job as the editor of an advertising media guide when the publisher folded. With her encouragement, he enrolled full time at Columbia University to finish his bachelor’s degree while she…