by Freya Dinshah, President of the American Vegan Society and still located at 56 Dinshah Lane, PO Box 369, Malaga, NJ 08328; (856) 694-2887; www.americanvegan.org
I first met the Buyukmihcis in 1963 or '64. My brother-in-law, Roshan, had invited them to have dinner with us. At that time Roshan, my husband Jay and I lived in the little yellow house in Malaga, and it was unusual to know another vegetarian family. Hope and Cavit brought along their two daughters, Linda and Nermin, and I took them out to the garden to pick some vegetables and salad ingredients. I apologized for the weeds, but Hope approved; birds appreciate weeds and lettuce gone to seed.
Hope and Cavit had recently acquired the Adams property (to become known as Unexpected Wildlife Refuge). It was winter when Hope phoned to invite me to be snowed in at the cabin with her. I had to decline that invitation as I knew that Jay would not be happy if I left him! There would be other opportunities to spend time in Hope's company waiting at the water's edge for beavers to appear, or sitting by the wood stove, enjoying soup and making pancakes.
Several years later, Hope and Cavit's son, Nedim, graduated Delsea Regional High School and gave the valedictorian address a stirring call for the preservation of wildlife. I attended with my baby, Daniel and cousin Jen (Jay had "left" me to go on a round-the-world lecture tour).
A photo by Hope of my daughter Anne (c1974) feeding the beaver Julie on the Long Boardwalk was used on UWR brochures.
In those days Hope would sometimes stop by our house with a harmless snake in a bucket that she had just removed in response to a call from a terrified neighbor. The children were invited to hold and stroke the snake.
Cavit liked to take Hope out for dinner and so, there being no vegetarian restaurants in the vicinity, a regular schedule of bringing her to our house was established.
Hope's Chalk Talks about the refuge, bluebirds, and beavers were a treat for local school children. When a local potluck group, Vegetarian Neighbors, began meeting monthly (about 20 years ago), Hope was an eager participant who brought delicious dishes.
Both Cavit and Nermin were for a time council members of the American Vegan Society. Nermin was the pioneer of the vegan products mail order business when she started Nermin's Dry Goods, in 1976.
Linda is an ardent vegan, now living in New York with husband Bill on their veganically-run Unexpected Farm. Their produce is outstanding and sold at the Ithaca Market.