Tribute to my Swiss friend Helene Egger

An email just arrived today, September 29th 2020 telling me that a dear friend, a loyal friend, a mountaineering and skiing friend, a cooking and baking friend, a gardening and knew-how-to-grow-everything-friend, a teacher of Swiss dialects friend, a long-time-long-distance telephone friend—telling me that she had died peacefully in her beloved Canada, with her beloved family. That was on Wednesday, September 23rd 2020

And, as I have said before, this is my website, so if I want to get mushy, I will; and let no one interfere.

So Helene, you’re over there and I’m over here. You were always far more accepting of that fact of life than I ever was or probably ever will be. I know it’s a sign of maturity and “centered-ness”, but I’m not there yet.

I thought you’d like this picture of a Nasturtium held up high against the light of the New Mexico sky. And even though this site is dedicated to black and white photography ONLY, I decided to make an exception for you.

Just about a month ago we’d had a lengthy discussion about growing potatoes—something you excelled at—and knew so much about from your early childhood experiences on the farm in Canton Aargau. I’m so glad I got to see that place and know your parents. So there’s a green photograph of my potato plants. They are happy. It will be a good harvest this year—one which will be turned into a Raclette dinner for many guests.

And there’s a photo of the gate to my courtyard and front door. That door is open, and it’s that way for a reason, so whenever you feel like visiting, just walk right in.

Thank you for your support and hospitality when I was alone in a foreign place. Thank you for warmly welcoming me into your family.
Thank you for always making me feel even more welcome in your home than I even was in my own.
Thanks for all the great laughs.
Thank you for all the great meals. Who can forget Choucroute Garni with beans from the farm?
Thank you for Engelberg, and Villars, and Flaine and Montana-Crans and Les Grands Montets and so much more. You will be, you are, missed.

Say “Hi” from me to everyone, OK?

Tribute to a Friend and Counselor, Gerry Weber

This is my website so if I want to do something sentimental, I will. And if anyone doesn’t like it, they should hesitate to tell me. I’m in no frame of mind for a critic. A long time friend of mine and trusted counselor died last night, around midnight, in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.

I can hardly think back to a time when the name “Gerry Weber” was not part of my everyday consciousness—from earliest childhood onward .

Gerry, fare well and say “hi” to everyone over there, just the way you said you would in our last conversation—and God, I had so hoped that it would not be the last one—of how many thousands in my lifetime? And who knows?—maybe this message, cast out there into the ether and the everlasting, will find its way.