Sunday, June 8, 2008
Memorial Service Last Sunday
The memorial service for dad was held at the little league baseball field in Nevada City Ca. Dad had a great love for little league baseball, he admired the pure and simple way kids played ball. He attended most every game and even traveled a couple of times with the team to away games, I can only imagine the conversation on the road with the kids. Dad's favorite team growing up was the Cleveland Indians. the Indians is also the name of the little league team in Nevada City.
It was a perfect day for a memorial, bright blue sky, mid seventies and almost no wind.
The ball field in rimed by towering pines with a dirt infield and the typical signs adorn the out filed fence. The memorial had a very distinct baseball flavor. The base lines were freshly chalked the home team Indians dressed in uniform passed out the programs for the memorial and latter when it got warm they passed out water to the crowd that numbered 800 0r more that filled the out filed and bleachers of the ball park, the concession stand was open and the most popular item was the" Utah Special", a chili dog and a warm bottle of water a close second was the Hobo Special, a bowl of chili and a warm bottle of water, dad preferred his beverages warm.
There was a small eight foot riser just behind home plate for the speakers. It was nicely decorated by Amigo Bob with pine tree branches
I had the honor to MC the event which began with the singing of the peoples national anthem. For those who don't know the peoples national anthem is.... everyone sings his or her favorite song at the same time. Then the Indians hurler Zach White threw out the first pitch to his trusted catcher Michael Skerak. It was a perfect pitch, high and tight in the strike zone. Then the announcement was made....play ball!
My little brother Brendan spoke to dads love of base ball. My little sister Morrigan spoke and read a lovely Wendel Beery poem. John Mccutcheon delivered a eloquent tribute and sang so Long It's Been good to know Ya. Some of the other speakers were John cloud, John spoke about dads vast knowledge. Tony Rohrieg from the Salt Lake branch of the I.W.W. and Mark Ross talked about dads union involvement. Dads Dr. Doctor Lang and cardiac Robin wright talked about dads heart condition. Poet molly Fisk read a poem and spoke of dads love of poetry. Joanna's son Ian Durfee read a beautiful passage and talked about Bruce the adventurer. Librarian Mary Ann Trigg spoke about dads love of books and how he used to hide his library card at the library in a book he knew know one would ever check out. Dad's booking agent and long time friend Jim Fleming spoke about Utah the performer and Steve baker and Mikhail Graham spoke about dads involvement in community radio and his radio show , Loafers Glory the Hobo Jungle of the Mind. Dear friends Brack, Bob, and Kuddie from the Rose Tattoo reflected on riding the rails and dads tramping days. Dads sister Deborah Cohen Lead the seventh inning Kvetch, we played take me out to the ball game and launched a model rocket into the summer sky. Actually the first attempt at launching the rocket was not so smooth in fact in didn't launch at all. I think it was one of the little leaguers, with a little prodding from his friends that fixed the problem. The second attempt was a success and the rocket soared into the air and believe int or not when the chute deployed the rocket dropped to the infield next to home plate. After the seventh inning Kvetch Joanna's other son Nicholas Tomb touched on dad's impeccable style. Nory Fussell talked about the towns peace center and dad's hand in it's beginning and sang a song. Janice O'Brien spoke about Hospitality House Shelter . The shelter dad and Joanna along with the help and support from many, many wonderful people in Nevada City and Grass Valley shelters about forty people a night. Dad's dear wife Joanna Robinson reflected on their life together and Brendan closed the show with dad's Hymn song.
I know I am missing some details but the whole thing was and still is kind of a blur. It was sad, touching, funny and beautiful. It was a fitting memorial to a truly remarkable man, a man that I am honored to say was my father.
If some of you read this and have more to contribute about the tribute please do post it or send me an e-mail and I will post if for you.
A pot luck at the Foundry followed the memorial maybe one of you can touch on pot luck. The whole day was overwhelming to say the least. I am still trying to process the whole thing.
Thank you, everyone , for the help and support it was an amazing event that could not have happened with out you, it was a real community effort and dad would have been proud of his home town Nevada City.