I missed friend Dave’s Memorial Service last week because I was on my way to Maine to open Roseledge Books. He was a man of many talents, but I wanted the world to know him as the student and fellow book-person that I knew. Friend Millie read the following remarks to an audience of folks who do not know me and who likely wondered what on earth was going on.
Fig. #54. Good memories abound.
“…I remember Dave’s wonderful singing voice which may have been the only reason we neighborhood Christmas Carolers were ever offered goodies once the front doors were opened.
But Dave also had a learned and ever-learning voice, and mostly I remember trying to recommend just the right book to both satisfy his perpetual quest for more about Thomas the Apostle in India and in so doing, extend the conversation we could have because of it.
He already knew about Thomas, so I was sure he would love books by people who walked the land, even if they weren’t Thomas and the land they walked was Afghanistan* or the shores of the Mediterranean** and not India. He was always pleased. Besides, William Dalrymple, who walked the Mediterranen to check on the monasteries checked earlier by monks in the 6th Century, next wrote two books about India.*** So Dave was twice pleased and I was encouraged.
Dave was a wonderful human being and there are just too few of them. I will remember him many times and in many ways but never more vividly than when I am in the middle of a good book reading a section that I know he would appreciate with me. Most recently that book was Travels With Herodotus in which young reporter Ryszard Kapuscinski sets out from Poland to visit places unknown, including India, with Herodotus as his guide. I loved the parts where Xerxes was figuring out where he was and who was who, long before there were maps, and then the author was applying those same tactics to deepest Africa of 40 years ago. I can see in my mind’s eye Dave trying out the same tactics in the North Woods before adding them to Thomas’s repertoire of travel tools.
I will miss you, Dave, but I will keep on suggesting perfect book tidbits. And when occasionally a perfect, funny insight then just pops into my head, I will know you are there with me. Say hello to Thomas, by the way.”
*The Places In Between
**Dalrymple, William. From The Holy Mountain
***Dalrymple, William. The Last Mughal and The City of Djinns
Books may not make friendships, or maybe they do, but they certainly do enrich them. I know this from years of knowing Dave and summers of talking books with my Roseledge Books Regulars who I expect to see any day now. Treasures await.
And so does the webcam. Check the better than ever view with chairs.