Topic: End of the Float

A couple weeks before I left to attend Chordiestock, I got a call from Steve, owner of our local paddling shop and an old kayaking buddy who has been battling health problems the last couple years. He had a lung transplant about 18 months ago and had problems with his recovery, then had his gall bladder removed a couple months ago and seemed to finally be on the road to recovery but was now back in the hospital. I went to visit him and he informed me that he had been feeling bad again and tests showed that he had developed cancer in his lung and it was quickly spreading.  The only question was how much time he had left.  He said he'd like to have one last "boater's party" to see all his old friends before his death and wanted me to play my river songs for him one last time.  His plan was to be cremated and asked that the local paddling club (which he helped start) spread some of his ashes on a local stream and wanted me to take some to the New River in West Virginia, a stream which we both have spent many an enjoyable day on over the years. Jen and I left for Florida thinking that we had time to return and help his wife and family with his final wishes.  Sunday evening after leaving the Chordiestock event at Jeff's house, Steve's wife called Jen and said he was suddenly getting worse.  Monday morning before we checked out of the motel, we got another call that Steve was gone.

Yesterday there was a viewing at a local funeral home.  The family asked that local paddlers bring their kayaks as a memorial to Steve. The parking lot was full of vehicles with yaks of every color and for 3 hours there was a line of visitors filing past the coffin. Inside the funeral home were dozens of pictures taken on river trips over the years and those of us who had been on those trips relived them again. Today there was a memorial service that was a celebration of his life and love of rivers and nature, and again dozens of local paddlers brought their boats.  With all the colorful kayaks in the church parking lot and along the street it looked like giant Easter eggs had been placed on cars and trucks.  When the weather warms and streams return to normal flows, we'll carry out his final wishes.  I can't help but feel that although he has made it to the take-out in this life, he'll be waiting at the put-in for us in the next one.

Our life on this earth is short.  Enjoy the time you get to spend with family and friends. 

DE

I want to read my own water, choose my own path, write my own songs

Re: End of the Float

Sorry for your loss.  Steve was one of the good ones.

Granted B chord amnesty by King of the Mutants (Long live the king).
If it comes from the heart and you add a few beers... it'll be awesome! - Mekidsmom
When in doubt ... hats. - B.G. Dude

Re: End of the Float

Absolutely, Dirty Ed. Condolences from both of us on Steve's passing.

If I may add this to your very well-written sentence?

And if you love 'em, tell 'em you love 'em and do it sooner, not later.

All the best, my friend.

Bill and Dondra

Epiphone Les Paul Studio
Fender GDO300 Orchestral - a gift from Amy & Jim
Rogue Beatle Bass
Pearl Drums

Re: End of the Float

Oh yeah, almost forgot: I love Y'all. smile

Bill

Epiphone Les Paul Studio
Fender GDO300 Orchestral - a gift from Amy & Jim
Rogue Beatle Bass
Pearl Drums

Re: End of the Float

Dirty Ed wrote:

Our life on this earth is short.  Enjoy the time you get to spend with family and friends. 

DE

Truer words have never been spoken. Sorry for your loss DE and thank you and Jen for spending some of your time with me. You are what we call "good people".

Rule No. 1 - If it sounds good - it is good!

Re: End of the Float

Sorry for your loss Ken.

You spoke about Steve to me at Chordiestock and how he hoped to get all his buddies together for a last party and for you to sing for him, I am sorry he paddled away up that last river before it could be arranged.

Condolences to you and his family and I hope you and Jen are OK,

Roger

Re: End of the Float

Grieving with you, DE, at the loss of your good buddy. Sounds like he'd have been very proud of the send-off you gave him. I got teary thinking about all those boats on the vehicles in salute, and how fine a man he must have been to have so many friends pay such a tribute to him.

Re: End of the Float

DE, at times like this it's very hard to express your feelings. Your comments, concerning your friend, were well spoken and expressed with love and kindness. Remember all the good times and cherish them.

Nela

Re: End of the Float

Sounds like quite a beautiful sight with all the Kayaks in attendance.  Jim and I send our condolences to you, Jen, and of course the entire Paddling Club. 

Hey Chordies... I love ya's!

Amy

Art and beauty are in the eyes of the beholder.
What constitutes excellent music is in the ears of the listener.

Re: End of the Float

Sorry for your loss Ed.

my papy said son your going too drive me too drinking if you dont stop driving that   Hot  Rod  Lincoln!! Cmdr cody and his lost planet airman

Re: End of the Float

Sorry for your loss Ken. Sounds like he was a really great friend that is highly loved and respected and will be thought of often.