Requiem For Stanley

By Bernie Suttle



“Ya’ goin’ to the service for Stanley?” Bart asked Ralph.

“Sure. He was part of our society.

Ralph’s vestige of a brogue gave evidence of his land of birth many years ago. He declared. “Sure, it’s a proper day for a burial with the grisly gray of the sky and the gloom of the dark clouds. His glorious daily greeting will be missed by all. He was their friend.”

Danny, a boy from up the street, said, “He learned early to trust and be trusted, something some grownups never learn.”

Kit, on her way to help out at her husband’s machine shop, said, “He showed he had joy in his heart, the way he could dance to a whistle. He was a pleasure to be around.”

We were all his friends, gathered together, respectfully, to acknowledge his positive effect on all of us, each of us.

Spyglass park borders our neighborhood. It is used by us vecinos of the Andrews Tract plus others for usual park activities, as well as serving as an entrance to the Pacific Ocean for surfers. The park is used for Tai Chi, exercise classes, sunbathing, along with sitting and thinking. The Andrews Tract is populated by those that seem, like us, to see it as their final resting place, our tranquility base at the end of the struggles to get here. We are all content, happy to be free from angst.

Jack Riley stood next to Steve Schulz and said, “This sure is some place we live. I think it’s paradise. No need to travel when you’re already in paradise.”

“How’s Mary doing?”

“She’s going to Stanford. Needs surgery.”

“I guess that’s our only ongoing concern. Losing our spouse. Being alone from then until the end. Can’t worry it away.”

Jack added, “Our parents lived during the Great Depression. Learned about money. No need for B school. We live during the time of COVID and its constraints. The pandemic has taught us, or most of us, that we are responsible for the common good.”

Parents brought their kids to  the park for the special event saying, “It will be good for the young ones. It will be a good life experience for them. They played with Stanley in life and now they have to acknowledge that life is finite, even for one as fine as Stanley. He was always open for play, chasing sticks or a ball. He was game.”

A good crowd assembled for the memorial services, realizing that this was more for them than for the departed Stanley, who never needed condolences but did appreciate pats and scratching on the rump.


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