~"What a spirit, what a spirit!"~
He found delight in simple things, in complex things, in things nobody else would ever notice. He found treasures in trash, he found activity in the mundane, he found wealth in the penniless.
He was painfully shy with adults, but somehow people loved him within seconds of meeting him. He was a gift to children. He had the gentlest of natures.
He wouldn't hurt a fly.
With all of his anxieties and phobias about life, he walked with dignity, and a certain self-imposed naivete about what other people might think of him, about how he was perceived. It was self-preservation. He was a sweet, sweet man.
He could fix anything. And when I say anything, I really mean anything. Ask anyone who knew him. Legend has it that he once fixed a broken down VW van with a penny.
He could build anything- a house, a computer, a sailboat, a guitar. I shit you not.
He could make anything- a fine soup, write a children's book, sketch a peacefully sleeping daughter on a napkin.
He once hooked an odometer up to my little sister's hamster's wheel to find out how far it would run during the night. It appears that a 3inch long hamster can clock over 7miles in 8 hours- a hamster "ultramarathon"? Nobody knew that but him. Maybe nobody wanted to. But he did, so he took the time to find out.
He was a seamstress. One year he bought an industrial sewing machine to sew sails for his sailboat. He followed that project up by turning a socially questionable white leather blazer into a respectable bomber jacket for motorcycle rides, complete with reflective accents and a masculine edge.
He snored like a buzz saw. It was truly awful. His house was messy and dirty. It made us nuts. Ironically, he took meticulous care of certain things in his life, and the fruits of his labor (work) were often organized, professionally polished, and squeaky clean.
He had an oddly green thumb and found peace in watering grass, picking oranges, and weeding my sister's lawn. He loved to grow and eat tomatoes. He would slice into them on a plate with the respect and purpose of someone enjoying a fine steak.
He was an artist, a contractor, an electrician, a plumber, a mechanic, a naturally talented golfer (but not *that* kind of golfer), a naturally talented sailor (but not *that* kind of sailor).
We called him Prumerie. Back in the late 80's when we sisters were still playing fancy-lady dress-up, we got annoyed that he was wandering our chateau grounds without permission, so we decided that surely he must be the butler! And so we named him "Prumerie". And it stuck. We made him Prumerie. His grandkids shortened it to "Prummie".
It was never more than an inch. If the beer was good, there might be a 2nd inch, but never more than one inch at a time.
|One of his tricks- Salt shaker standing.|
Like-a-deesa (sandwich cut up into 1cmx1cm squares, each with it's own toothpick)
Coconut (referring to your head- i.e. "Aww- Did you hit your coconut?")
Da tings an' da tings ("Tell me how you're doing? What's going on?")
Spirimentos ("Experiments" with shadows created by xmas lights on the ceiling- like watching the cloud shapes)
Tato-ato (Michaela- from Potato or Tato-Buggy)
Milk and Dirt (chocolate milk with Ovaltine)
Garbage Ball (see December 2010 blog entry for Garbage Ball description)
Palachie (Palace, as in "Prumerie's Fine Microwave Palachie" where he made us dinner...)
ChippyCheese (Tortilla chips dipped in cream cheese)
QuatroCincoSiete! (5th gear on a manual transmission)
Dozerd (bulldozer- the dozerd would often wake us up in the morning, playfully but forcefully nudging us off our sleeping pads, tiling the living room floor)
Mud Flaps (the Alviso estuary)
~ He was, in the words of a dear friend, "one of the best guys ever."~
Fourteen years ago he signed me up for a new Yahoo email account so we wouldn't lose touch when I moved abroad. Username: Gringochick. He gave me that. He made me Gringochick.