Two weeks ago, friends of mine suffered a terrible tragedy. (The details are unimportant.) Since that time I’ve been doing all I can to help them. Filling two dumpsters full of trash and old furniture, providing a replacement computer and helping choose a new laptop, and offering general suggestions regarding the cleanup and repair of a devastated house.

Normally this is not something I’d share: acta non verba as we were taught in the academy.

No, I’m writing this because I’m reminded of Patrick. While you already know the story of his long absences, I can tell you that when he was there, he was helpful and supportive. He helped a composer transcribe his music, he helped a close friend get into a house in Seville, he taught students to read with an inquisitive eye and a critical mind, and through the music festival he (and Stephanie) helped musicians around the world come to Mallorca to play. Along the way he brought old music back to life, and gave under-recognized composers a chance to be heard.

One story comes to mind in particular, and is the reason I’m writing this now. Patrick visited my house in the early 2010’s. There’s a tree that grows behind my place, on a steep slope, that in time grows enough to obscure my view of the mountains. Every few years it has to be cut back. It was during his visit that another trimming exercise was in order.

Patrick and I spent all day taking it down almost to a stump, whacking and chopping and sawing and slinging branches up the hillside. Remember, he was around 80 years old at this point, and still strong and willing to exert himself in physical labor alongside his son.

I have a few particular memories of Patrick that I place above others: him coming to the Prescott Rally with me may be at the top, but his stamina and energy and willingness to help with this particular project ranks right up there as well.

I can’t say that I am willing to help my friends because of Patrick’s influence. I can say that I’m glad to share this trait with him, even if I didn’t learn it from him directly.