Was it to see all the native San Franciscan's that no longer reside in the city of their birth? There were many of them this morning and it does make me wonder how many native San Franciscan's there are. Just about everyone I know comes from somewhere else. How long will it be until you no longer read born in San Francisco in the "Life Tributes" section of the paper? And I had to ask how many times do you read about a person like Mary O'Brien, 94 years old and she was born and died in the same hospital. Totally amazing, in a good way.
Or was it the number of people that left behind or joined their long standing spouse?
There was Gino and Eleanor - almost 50 years.
There was Ken a 3rd generation San Franciscan who donated over 42 gallons of blood over the course of his life and was married to Alyce for nearly 71 years!
Dor was married to Tommy for 67 years. She loved to travel and was a "hostess supreme" according to the writer of her tribute.
Bill and Ute - He was a native San Franciscan, a WWII vet, a pioneering venture capitalist and loved to travel with Ute, whom he was married to for 51 years.
There were more, people married for many years, SF natives that I marvel at the changes they have seen in the City of their birth. I wonder how they felt about the City recently.
Many of these people I would have liked to know, but none of them were the reason I was called to read the obits today. It was Donald Francis Eldridge. Have I ever met him? Nope? Then why?
Don, I feel I can call him that, was a man of many talents and experiences. He was, according to the obit, kind, compassionate, generous, playful and good-natured and he will me missed by many. He travelled extensively for pleasure and spiritual fulfillment. Don is the man that gave us Memorex - yup that Memorex. He worked for human rights and created a foundation to promote social justice around the globe. He was a sailor, an owner of many boats, and loved Barbara for over 30 years sharing many of these things with her.
This is a life. But it was not any of these things that drew me to the obits today. It was one line in this this man's life:
"He relished the memories of this childhood summers spent bayside at the family vacation spot in Jamestown, Rhode Island, where his love for the water and sailing first began."
Jamestown? My Jamestown? The place I grew up? Yup. The little island, nine miles long by one mile wide in the middle of Narragansett Bay. Yup. Don was born the same year as my mother and I have to wonder, did their paths ever cross? I'll have to ask her when we next chat. Don once rode his bike from New Jersey to Jamestown. Did he come over on the ferry? Did he stop at my Grandfather's bar for a drink to wet his whistle after that long ride?
I sure hope Don was able to share Jamestown with his family cause it is a special place.