Best Neighbors Ever

I'm in a lot of shock and not getting much done today because I got the news that our incredible neighbor, John, passed away yesterday after a brief illness.

(terrible picture but best I can do in a quick timeframe)

His story is not mine to tell, but my memories are, and there are so many of them. They are flooding through my mind right now that it's hard to get much else done, so I'm doing what I usually do when that happens and write.

John and his wife Linda were the first people I knew on my block — in fact, I knew them before I bought the house. Linda worked with my friend Elaine at TPT and they welcomed us with open arms and connected us in to everyone immediately. 

Whatever we needed help with, John was there, where it was work on the house or a drink in the back yard next to the chimichanga.

I talked him into stage managing at Jeune Lune and he stayed for awhile as production manager and never held it against me.

He and Linda were always going to great theater, and opera, and we listened to so much music and talked about art at their place. Dinners were so much fun, whether just us, or with friends Peter and Sylvia, or their whole family.

Sitting on the porch checking out what was going on, working at Holcombe Circle, lending his truck, participating in "Ashland Eats Out," Christmas caroling at Holcombe Circle — he was always part of the neighborhood and everything that went on in it.

He and Linda were some of the first to meet (and give approval to) Patrick when we first started dating.

The night my mom died (Christmas, even) he made me many martinis and let me blue until I didn't make any sense (which was easy with the martinis).

He always had opinions, but never held it against you when yours didn't match (which quietly converted you anyway).

He loved Linda so much. Their wedding anniversary was the same date as our reception, and we took it as a good sign that we would love as long and hard as they did.

He was going to teach Beatrix to play the accordion. The last time his band played we did not make it and I am kicking myself hard now.

I don't think he knew how important he was to so many people.

I don't see all of you enough or tell you enough how much I love you. But I really, really do.


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