My neighbor who taught me to turn wood on a lathe just died. I find myself to be very sad about this. It's more than that he was a kind and generous man - in some ways he was a bit of a father figure to me. Working in the wood shop (or drinking beer on his front porch) was the sort of thing that I haven't done with a man from the previous generation since, well, Dad. And it was since the 1970s that I did woodworking with him.
Don was smart, and was a good businessman, and led a long life until Parkinson's took him. His last four months were spent in Atlanta in assisted living. We missed him, but he got to see his daughter and grandkids, and great grandkids. The Queen Of The World and I went up to see him in October, and I'm very glad that we did. He liked TQOTW and his daughter fussing over him together, and I liked sharing a beer with him. He also found someone who was selling a new-in-box lathe for an unbeatable price, so now I'll have to figure out how to squeeze that into our space. I think I need a shoehorn, but I'm not done with woodworking and I think that Don wanted to ensure that. Just one of the many people whose lives he touched, and left richer for that.
But there's a terrible finality when the ship sails for the Undiscovered Country. Fair winds and following seas, Don. Give our regards to Alice. We'll raise the Parting Glass to you.