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memorial service

Man, I’m tired.

The memorial service was a little bizarre but very good, and a lot of people I hadn’t seen in fifteen years expressed great surprise that I was all grown up now. They kept saying “You’re all grown up!” Except a couple who said, “You got old!” I said, “What does that make you?” Marc Berezin stared at me for a moment when I said that, then said, “You got OLD!” :)

Chris Cook, to whom the words ‘force of nature’ apply, asked me how my life was, told me, demanded to know why I wasn’t answering her, interrupted to /continue/ telling me how my life was; eventually my Mom came by and I said, “Chris and I are having a nice conversation about me. She’s doing the talking.” It was pretty funny. :)

Chris’s son Ian was there. Ian used to be this slight, angelic-looking blond kid. Ian grew up into this oh, he’s not that /tall/. 5’8″ or 9″, burly, stocky, sturdy, construction-worker-looking fellow. He recognized me before I recognized him, and before Chris could give him hell he hugged me, then Chris turned and saw us standing next to each other and started to say, “Ian!” and he was like, “We HUGGED! We HUGGED! It’s OKAY! I did my duty! We HUGGED!”

In another conversation with Marc Berezin, who is a terrific human being with the world’s shortest memory, he expressed surprise that I was living in Anchorage, then asked what I was doing with myself. I said, “We already had this conversation, Marc,” because we did, in June at Deirdre’s wedding. He said, “WELL WE’RE HAVING IT AGAIN!”

So I said I was doing web design for this company in San Francisco, and he said, “Wait! We’ve had this conversation! I’m beginning to remember! We had it in July!” I said, “Well, no, it was June…”

Marcia Beauchamp, who is about 5’2″, was dismayed I was taller than she was. I tried telling her that 1. everybody was taller than she was, and 2. I’d been taller than she was /last/ time I saw her, too, and then I was obliged to crouch down so I was no longer taller than she was. She was happy about that.

It was very good to see people. It’s horrible that the reason was somebody died. But my father had this idea to begin a Dave Forbes Memorial Roast to be held once a year and for everybody to get together and roast one of the old crowd. A reason to get together that’s not *sad*. I hope they pull it off.

Duncan, who is the youngest Forbes kid and whom I hadn’t seen in several years, grew up to look a lot more like Liam than I ever imagined he would. He was being pretty stoic. Liam was doing a lot of hail-good-fellow-and-cheer. Laura kept getting all teary.

There was a funny bit when Laura, all teary-eyed, came up and Jean Brockel, who is a singer/voice teacher/theatre person in Kenai, was talking to me, and was all teary, and she and Laura looked at each other and Laura said, “We have to stop meeting like this,” and Jean said, “Kept apart by Kleenex!””

I saw Aunt Pam, and … god. Just so many people I hadn’t seen in so amazingly long. Hal Smalley, who was a teacher at my high school, and a swim coach, who’s now in politics. He looks like a particularly benevolent sort of short-bearded Santa Claus. Barb and Dave Eagle — I think I’ve told the story about Dave’s mailbox?

The Eagles live between Kenai and Soldotna but the cities keep the roads clear. They kept, however, bulldozing snow without regard to the mailboxes, and several years running they bulldozed people’s mailboxes down along with the snow. And people complained bitterly, and the city said sorry, sorry, and would do it again the next year.

I think it happened three times, and then Eag got fed up with it. Eag does construction kinds of things. Eag went and dug a 10×10 pit, poured concrete into it, and put the mailboxes back up, set in concrete. The next winter, the bulldozer came along, smashed into the concrete-enforced mailboxes and destroyed the blade on the ‘dozer.”

And for some reason after that the city was able to go *around* the mailboxes instead of just smashing them down.

These are the kinds of people I grew up with. Benevolent Santa Clauses and bulldozer-destroying contractors. I was an astoundingly lucky kid. :)

There wasn’t any official speech-making at the service, which was a little strange and in fact not … they kind of let it go with the flow instead of trying to make it organized in any fashion, which is maybe just as well, because Rene didn’t even make it into the main area the place was being held until it was nearly over. She stayed out in the lobby just talking to people out there, and I’m not sure she needed to be .. well. I’m not sure she could have handled anything else.

There were … hundreds of people there. There must’ve been two hundred. He taught at the college, so there were some of his students, there were theatre people, there were.. just enormous numbers of people. They had a video with clips of shows Dave’d been in, and there was somebody playing the piano, and the college – it was held at the college — had put together a food spread, and flowers, and all sorts of stuff. They did a really nice job and the Forbes’ were all more than a little overwhelmed.”

The very best (and possibly most peculiar) memorial I heard about for David: he loved golfing.

So Marc Berezin, he of the faulty memory, was down in Seattle at the beginning of this week, staying with Pat Dixon, whom I know I’ve told you about; he was my high school photography teacher. Mark Bergner, who was another teacher at my high school and astoundingly good-looking, came down from wherever it is slightly north of Seattle that he apparently lives, and the three of them and David Forbes went out golfing. And Forbes was playing such a great game they had to give him hell the whole time; on the 15th hole, he was 1 under par, the best he’d ever played, and *boy* were they giving him grief. On the 16th and 17th holes, he had to take an extra shot or two, so he ended up 1 over par going into the 18th hole, which was a 500 yard drive and had a 5 par. And man, they had to just keep giving him a hard time, because he was notorious for going out of turn, and he kept going out of turn, and they had to tell him to cut it out, but he made two good shots to set up that 18th hole, and then from 120 yards out, he sank it, and finished the course one under par. The best golf game he’d ever had.”

And that was how they memorialized him. They brought him out for the best golf game he’d ever had, a few days after he died.

There’ll be photos here if I can get my gallery software to work.

One Comment

  • Marc Berezin

    Three comments:
    1) What’s wrong with my memory? It’s fine!
    2) So Mark Burgener is “astoundingly good-looking”? What am I, chopped liver?
    3) I forgot.