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IT'S YOU MUST GO, AND I MUST BIDE
29 May 2006
With Ned on guitar, Marta's voice soaring over the crowd, and Jeri's plaintive accompaniment on the flute, "Danny Boy" was an instant tear-jerker in an already emotion-charged event.
Today was Bill's memorial, attended by some 100 or so folks from all parts of his life. It was funny, it was upbeat, it was emotional, and it was filled with love.
Our "Pinata group" was well represented, with more "2nd generation" and "3rd generation" kids than have attended an event like this in a very long while. (To recap for those who haven't heard this before, we started out as 5 couples at UC Berkeley, who all dated and married and began having children. We mostly lived near each other when our kids were small--all 22 children in the 2nd generation--and they grew up in one huge extended family. Now we're about to have a "40th birthday party" for five of them and the others are all in their 30s or 40s, most are married, many have children of their own. But we all remain close and they all greet each other like siblings they just haven't seen in awhile. The "Pinata group" name came about because every year on New Year's Day we'd have a big party and all the kids would break a pinata. It kind of became the symbol of this group.)
Jeri had flown in from Boston for the event and will leave on Monday to return. Tom flew up from Santa Barbara for just 7 hrs, but he wanted to be there to honor Bill. Ned brought the sound equipment and was the MC.
I think what I loved most today was watching the intergenerational mixing. Dana, from the 2nd generation, in her remarks, commented that each of the 22 kids in the Pinata "family" actually had 10 parents, who had been their caregivers, and disciplinarians, and role models as they were growing up. Watching all the 2nd generation kids in deep conversation with the 1st generation parents showed how right she was.
Bill and Jeri hosted our very first pinata party, back in 1967, when the kids hit the first pinata, which was so strong, Bill had to take a hammer to it. So I know Bill would have been tickled to see the 2nd generation organizing a pinata for the 3rd generation--and watching Bill's sons running it, reminding me so much of their father.
When the people who might have been shocked by such "disrespect" had all gone home, those of us who were left assembled in the garage, where they are storing Bill's ashes. He loved working in the garage, loved his tools, and this is the equivalent of scattering someone's ashes across a favorite mountain top. They removed Bill from the cupboard where he has been residing and put him on a table. We drank a toast and then, having put the white cap that he wore all the time on top of the box of ashes, he returned to his new home, in the cupboard in the garage, the place that he loved so much.
A sampling of what I thought were the best of the photos are
available in a slide
show on Flickr and the first of what will, I think, be three videos made about the
memorial appears as today's video of the day.
PHOTO OF THE DAY
Pinata People--3 generations