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Doom and Zoom

December 28, 2020

Our hiking group had its annual gathering today. Via Zoom. We don’t hike anymore… which is a true bummer, and we haven’t had our annual full-moonrise snowshoe for years now. We have sorta traded out rigorous hiking for travel — Yosemite (Ahwahnee-style), Italy, Barcelona. Until this weirdo year, we usually manage some lunches, some special events, maybe a mellow walk somewhere…. and our annual holiday gathering, which has for many years been a long lunch and gift exchange, at one of our houses or, in recent years, at a restaurant.

But of course none of that works at present. So this year, it was a Zoom call.

This is a deeply well-read, politically savvy group. Back in the olden days, when political discussions were just about routine politics, they were just garden variety lively conversations. Now political discussions are about setting our hair on fire. And it’s still the focal point of our conversations. At least we’re all on the same page. (And frankly, were we not, we wouldn’t be friends. In the current era, there are not two legitimate sides to the debate.. but that’s another blog post.) So we had a lot to talk about, what with the final days of Trump’s chaotic reign, his predictable antics, continued unraveling, blah blah blah. Much doom he has wreaked.

But also.

Two weeks ago, Rick died. Not surprising, but still shocking to hear the words. The good judge had been going downhill for years, due to runaway bad side effects from an otherwise successful treatment of melanoma. He already gathered a hundred of his closest friends several years ago on the Fourth of July at his foothill property to say goodbye. Things should not have gone so awry, but they did, and should not have gone on as long as they did, but that’s the way it happened, and it was horrible. It was a tragically sad thing to observe. Rick was a powerhouse in every way: intellectually, professionally, socially. Commanded any/every room. He was at the center of so many people’s lives. Could write a book about him (certainly a longer blog post). Fascinating man, an amazing life.

And in the end, we learned today, he died by choking on a hotdog at Costco. I can’t even.

Life can be so cruel.

Linda was going to join us from their home in Hawaii, but the day got away from her. We’ll stay in touch and include her at the next thing.

So our Zoom today.. was a mix of shocking Rick revelations, some sweet reminiscing, a satisfying measure of disdain for Trump, and a boatload of laughs and silliness.

Feel like Rick left us years ago, even as his huge body was still lumbering along. Will surely miss him; we will carry on.