Monday, January 14, 2013

JR

JR


In may ways, JR was larger than life. In the Adirondacks people talked about him like you would recall Paul Bunyan or Tom Sawyer. The tales were tall, often beginning with "on a dark, cold night in the woods" and frequently involved mishaps with motorized transportation.

JR was a character, remarkable and memorable. He could be very particular and set in his ways, and he would let you know just what he thought about anything and everything. He was also paradoxically inquisitive and open to other ideas as evidenced by his voracious consumption of books and travels far and wide.

It is hard to separate JR the man and JR the character; sometimes they were the same thing. From my own experiences with him I do know that he wrecked two cars on dark, cold nights; he was a superb sailor who plied his trade around the world; and his wide range of interests guaranteed that he and I shared quite a few lively debates.

JR the man was someone who didn't often speak about his emotions but he would wake up early to be one of the few spectators watching SB rowing in the Labor Day scull races. He drove great lengths to visit his children in school, which was a testament to his pride in them as well as to his particularity about modes of transportation. He had a long standing dislike of the airline industry and only grudgingly accepted my use of air travel although he made sure to terrify me with stories of poor airplane maintenance just hours before my flight back to Hong Kong.

I am heartbroken that his family has lost him. I hope that they may be comforted by all the stories and reminisces that we all have to offer them. I personally feel solidarity with his widow. My beloved SB is also quite a unique specimen. Sometimes you are the feet on the ground that allows him to fly, sometimes you are holding him up, and once in a while you lay flattened underneath him. But I wouldn't choose any other life. The adventures, the laughs, the love and the legend will keep JR afloat forever.

You can see the father in the son

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