Friday, August 16, 2013

Every Man...a Piece of the Continent

A few years back we hired an artist and a mason to fix two of the fireplaces in our employer's stone house on the cliffs above the ocean.

 Steve Gally was a friendly and very Central Coast independent kind of a guy whose talk was fast and far ranging, he was interested in the natural world and how to work with and in it, his community and people in general. He got to work when he got here and then he worked hard. He was so hyper-amped, so  excited about everything and so wanted to share, that I found myself somewhat overwhelmed by the boom of his presence, yet I always found him to have the best intentions.   

 After the job was over, he would stop by randomly with some  honey from his bees, or old veggies from the health food store that he would get for his chickens.  When he  ran into us in town he'd treat us as if we were long lost  and blurted out one day that even though we'd been customers, we were different...we were "like friends."

He told us both, more than once, that if  we ever needed any help, ever, ever, any time, to call him.

He had recently stopped by to invite us to walk with him on a ranch south of us.  He said he would be going by at least once a week  and we could come along anytime.  We looked forward to that, but that date won't  happen. We just learned that, Steve, 62 years old, died suddenly on  July 16th of natural causes at home in the garden sanctuary he was building with and for his lady, Jennifer. 

No man is an island,  entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main; if a clod be washed away by the sea, Europe is the less, as well as if a promontory were, as well as if a manor of thy friend's or of thine own were;  any man's death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind, and therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; it tolls for thee.  John Donne

We each have a flashlight he gave us for presents. I hope we shed a little light in his days too.  Man knows not his time.  May he rest in peace.

You can see  a glimpse of some of  the hands on doing and giving Steve was up to on Steve's blog.  


GretchenJoanna said...

Oh, my - yes, dear Lord, may he rest in Your peace. A loss to the world.

I think I remember you writing here about him before? Or maybe you told me elsewhere....

Mark said...

Very moving tribute; thank you, and, like, true!
I miss him.

Pom Pom said...

Oh, I'm so sorry. I am sure you were stunned. You're right, we don't know when our last encounter might occur. It sounds like you made a difference in his life, giving him your kind attention and warmth.

Martha said...

What a nice person...a true friend! May he be with God. ♥ I'm sorry to hear of his passing. My father is 62 also. It's hard to imagine. Even when children die, so hard to understand!!!

Katie (Nature ID) said...

Oh, Jeannette, you met Steve! I liked reading about your impression of him. Did you find out from the Pine Cone? I'm taking the phone calls listed in the obit, if you want to chat. You know he mentioned to me once that he was working down there, and based on his description, I always wondered if it was your place. Sounds like you had the honor to get an invitation to Rocky Creek. I'm now extending you that same invitation, even though it won't be the same as if you had gone with Steve. I have to laugh that you got a flashlight, too. At a small wake a week after he died, we had a raising of the hands of all who received flashlights from him. Every hand went up, much to our shared delight. Btw, his blog was the first blog I ever created, even before Nature ID. I did it as a thank you to Steve for being my friend. I'll send a link of your post to Jennifer. She'll enjoy it, too. Can you e-mail me your photos of Steve? Many thanks.

Ceil said...

Hi Jeannette! This is my first time to your blog.

What a story! You must have made such an impression on this man. And he on you! What a special relationship you had. I am so sorry about his death, it must have been so shocking.

How beautiful that he died in a garden, doing what he loved. And thank you for sharing his photo. He looks like he was kind and gentle.

So nice to meet you!


I am sorry, Jeannette, that you have lost a friend and a wonderful worker on your home. He sounds really sweet.

Praying for his lady.