In the kitchen preparing breakfast I have bacon on medium heat, abiding by Steinbeck’s advice to cook it slowly, a couple of eggs at the ready, abiding by my own rule never to put eggs in the refrigerator, and humming to myself to cover the absence of anyone to share the morning, I hear noises up behind the house. For a moment my subconscious believes it is the person I jokingly call my bitter half, finishing her meditation, my signal to start the toast, but it takes only a second to remember that can’t be so, she having departed the earth a while ago.

It is over a year since I have taken the hatchet and saw to the brush and brambles blocking the way to the water deposits and beyond those, Continue reading “Ashes”


Patrick sent this story to me on 27 May 2015

John the barber clicked off the clippers, winked at Skeets in the mirror, and grinned between the two bare-breasted broads on the King Koal calendars from way back when: 1951 and 1952.

“Here comes Wick. Might be some fun.”

“Who’s Wick?”

“You don’t know Wick? Eddie Wickline, Viola’s brother? He left Letdown some time ago, maybe before your time. Been back a couple of years now.” John pulled away the tissue paper collar and dusted his neck with a talcum brush. Then he pumped the chair down. “Wick claims he worked on a spaceship the last years. He’s been away.” Away was pronounced with a certain tone of voice.

He stuffed the ten-dollar bill Skeets handed him into the register. “Why don’t you have a seat, Skeets. I’ll duck in to advise the boys in the pool hall, in case they want to sit in.”

Outside past the striped pole and the word Barber spelled backwards, you could see a tall thin man striding toward the shop, cutting diagonally across the concrete street. He wore a gray suit with purple pin stripes and a gray fedora.


Continue reading “Letdown”

One Year Ago

One year ago today, at this race track, in this tower, with these cars on course, I lost my father.

Now, snug in his undershirt, carrying his satchel, with his ring on my finger and his love in my heart, while stewarding the Red run group, I think about all that has transpired since that first flurry of phone calls.

This morning during our flag team meeting, I thanked my racing friends for their support, beginning a year ago and continuing through today.

Here I thank the rest of you.

There’s no denying that this has been an emotional, difficult year, and the practical and family complications have only added to the strain.

The View from ACS Race Control

However, because of all of you I’m able to enjoy the view from high above the track, overlooking the kind of mountains he loved, beneath a brilliant sun that so nourished Stephanie’s gardens, with my eyes dry and my focus mostly centered on the cars circulating at speed.

Because of those family members that understood Patrick and his final wishes, his amazing collection of friends, and my own support group, I’m functioning as a regular human being, not a quivering heap of grief, though I still grieve deeply.

I am sorry Patrick is gone, but I am thankful he was here. What more can one hope for a life well lived?

Patrick’s Ring

Patrick’s Ring, a Gift to Him from Gretchen

Years ago Gretchen gave Patrick a small ring, red and silver, which he wore often. When he passed away she asked me to send it back to her, which I did.

A week or two ago I was surprised to see it in my mailbox. She sent it to me, hoping that I’d wear it.

This I am doing, even here at the race track where a year ago (minus two days) I received the news of his end. Like the other little things of his that I keep close, it provides comfort–a wee bit of comfort–for the sadness.

Music Festival Propagation

Here’s an audio recording with Patrick (18 March 2017) in which he starts by talking about his grave marker for the Deia cemetery (captured in mid-sentence).

He goes on to talk about how music festivals spread across the island after he and Stephanie got the Deia festival off the ground.

Transcription: Continue reading “Music Festival Propagation”

standing silently together each day at sunset

(e-mail from Fred on 12 Aug 2001, part of a large collection Patrick sent to me in Aug 2015)

Subject: greetings

Dear Stephanie & Pat,

Full of music, good food (no small admission from one who lives in Firenze), dance, incredible landscapes, some new friends, & best of all, affection. I have printed them out as shared them — the best of his eccentric prose. & I received yr gorgeous card. I now have an impression of yr inviting & interesting (horrible word — should be dropped from critical vocabulary) house. I learn that both of you became stone masons over the yrs to achieve ‘your place’.

& learn anew, Stephanie, that you are extraordinary & dear. However, he did not mention that you sang for him. Continue reading “standing silently together each day at sunset”

Homage to Patrick at 2018 Deia Int’l Music Festival

On 26 July 2018 the Deia International Music Festival will host a special concert to honor Patrick. The concert includes trios by Coleridge-Taylor, Gilchrist, Torrandell and Patrick’s friend Carl Mansker, performed by Suzanne Bradbury (another of Patrick’s dear friends), Eilidh Martin and Tom Hankey.

The concert will begin at 9:00 PM and will be held at Son Marriog.

This is the 40th anniversary of the festival founded my father and Stephanie and will be a special night to remember.

Check out the Deia International Music Festival web site for details.

I’m Getting Behind …


I’ve been very busy with helping out the Drive Towards a Cure planning (pre-running and documenting the route) as well as my usual racing support activities and as a new instructor for the teen-driving BRAKES program.

I’ve got an overwhelming amount of material still to review, scan, and upload to this web site. Thanks for your patience.

I promise to continue adding to Stephanie and Patrick’s legacy as time allows.


Cada Mañana

La voz de Patrick en las palabras de una amiga.

Cierro los ojos y lo oigo…cada mañana
Que bonita es la vida!, que bella!…
hoy he visto al hombre con su tractor
bajo el sol, entre els marges
cuanto trabajo le queda
cuanto trabajo hace
como redibuja mi montaña
como me enseña sus secretos
siempre ante mis ojos
siempre sobre la ventana
cada mañana
que hermosa vivirla
acaricio mi albahaca
su olor me embruja
y yo seducido quedo
por el brillo del sol
tras la montaña

cada mañana