I spied some devastating news splashed across the front page of the Chronicle this morning. Barbara Meislin, the celebrated Purple Lady of Tiburon, a singer, healer, and author of No One Can Ever Steal Your Rainbow, has lost her fabulous purple-filled house to a fire.

The Purple Lady

From the San Francisco Chronicle:

It was a tragic end for a uniquely embroidered house owned by a distinctively colorful person. Meislin, who has lived in the house for 43 years, is known as the “Purple Lady of Tiburon” because virtually everything she owns, wears or uses, from her undergarments and eyeliner to her car and cell phone, is a shade of that color.

“Her garden features princess flower bushes; beds of violets; a wisteria-covered gazebo; hanging baskets teeming with fuchsias; fences covered with morning glory; and abundant patches of lavender,” wrote Jim Wood recently in Marin Magazine, a glossy periodical that mostly features the hobnobbings of the well-to-do. “Inside her house, you’ll stroll on purple carpets, be surrounded by soft violet walls, stand under a mauve ceiling, and gaze upon magenta vases, indigo candleholders and countless works of art imbued with purple hues.”

The hue was decidedly charcoal Wednesday as Meislin collected belongings from the garage, where two cars were parked bearing the license plates BPURPLE and BPURPL2. The gate to the front yard lay on its side, the purple stained glass with swans and butterflies still intact. A soot-stained statue of Buddha with his hands raised to the sky stood nearby.

“I’ll have to rebuild this house,” she said, holding a sign with the number of her house surrounded by a rainbow. “There is a purpose in everything that happens.”

Meislin reportedly fled her burning home wearing only her purple pajamas and slippers.

No One Can Steal Your Rainbow

It makes me so sad. I wish I could have visited the purple palace while it was still with us. And almost as sad-making is the thought of this Auntie, burned out of her incredible house and home, roaming West Marin in only her purple pjs. Perhaps Judy would be willing to lend Barbara her periwinkle ensemble during the rebuilding process.

At least Barbara has the right spirit about things. “‘I truly believe that nobody can steal your rainbow,’ she said. But, ‘if I was ever tested, today is the test.'”

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