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The Philosophy of Juice & Crackers
23 March 2016
There was another memorial service today. I'd known Andy for probably most of our time in Davis, but I never really knew him. I knew he was Judy's husband and that he was a doctor. That's about it. Our paths never crossed socially, unless it was some school event or a diving meet. I don't think I've seen him in the last 10 years. I doubt that we ever had a conversation that went beyond "Hello." "Hello." It was enlightening to read his obituary and listen to the memories today. I had no idea he was an internationally renown Neurologist or that he was a master carpenter who could fix anything and helped build houses for Habitat for Humanity, among many other things.
Amazing the lives that people we know live and we have no clue unless we are close friends. I found that kind of sad.
From his obituary: Andy expressed in his oral memoirs for his family, “I most cherish my wife and children. Family is the way to truly change the world. I hope you also believe this and act on this with your own families.” What a lovely thing to say.
Judging from the outpouring of love today he was as nice a man as he always seemed to be on those rare occasions when I saw him.
We sat at the back of the church, the local Presbyterian church where it seems that everybody in town attends, and I thought what a shame it was that we had never been involved in that church because everybody in town attended it and I suspect I would have gotten to know people in Davis better. It's 43 years too late, though.
There were more of the usual suspects in attendance, gathered around the ubiquitous food table. These were some of the same usual suspects from last week's memorial, but a lot that were other usual suspects that we see from the group that I associate Andy and Judy with. Like the psychiatrist (the one I worked for for 30 years) and his wife. I used to see them frequently, but since I gave up transcribing for him, it takes a memorial service to bring us together.
There was also the father of a friend of our kids, looking quite unusually dapper. He was widowed many years ago and recently remarried. His new wife is obviously whipping him into shape. He had lost a lot of weight and looked healthier and happier than I'd seen him look in a very long time.
The nice thing about events like this, with old time Davis people, is that when I am introduced to someone, they tell me how much they like my reviews. So much nicer than the event I went to about 3 years into my being a critic, when someone told me how much she liked my letters to the editor and asked if I ever wrote anything else for the paper! But I got really very nice feedback on my reviews, and I especially like the ones who tell me that they went to a show because I'd recommended and enjoyed it.
But the older I get, the less comfortable I am at big social things like this. Walt revels in them and we are generally the last to leave because he gets around and talks to everybody, just like his sister. He remembers everybody and even if he says "you remember so-and-so" I put on my big smile and say "Yes! Of course!" but I don't have a clue who that person is.
I look for the potted palm to hide behind or, lacking one, a quiet table where I can sit unobtrusively with a cup of coffee. I usually eat too much because it's something to do, but food just didn't appeal to me today, so other than a couple of endive leaves with a bacon spread and a couple of cookies, I didn't eat anything, but drank two cups of coffee.
I did sit with a couple who were talking about my reviews and she and I discussed cruises we had taken. I swear she and I co-led a Cub Scout troop together a zillion years ago, but she didn't mention it, nor did I because I wasn't sure I was remembering correctly. Her husband did ask me if we still kept the Pinewood Derby track in our garage and I told him that since our youngest son was nearly 46, we hadn't had Pinewood Derby anything in decades.
So we have now bid goodbye to another Davis old-timer and you can't help but look around all the famiiar faces and wonder whose memorial service we will be attending next.
It's that time of life.
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