In Memoriam to a profound man

I’m up a little early this morning. Something wasn’t quite right. At 3:00 a.m. I got up, brewed a cup of coffee, and washed some dishes. Then I checked my email, and now I’m a little choked up.

There are moments – in here and out there – real, honest, emotion-inducing moments wherein the eyes well up, the spine tingles, and the captured memories – of such astounding yet fleeting blips in your Life – find themselves inescapably resonating with you long after you’ve left the trail. Be it a tree growing out of a rock and thriving, two rattlesnakes mating, a night filled with horizon-to-horizon meteors, directly making eye contact with a bobcat, or witnessing the profound deeds of extraordinary people – there is nothing like hiking in Nature to bring the best out of people, bring the best out of yourself, and restore balance and harmony to one’s Life.

We need to be thankful that we have such bounty around us that we can escape into when the feeling calls. I for one cannot fathom what it would be like for me to forsake regular visits to the wilderness – even when it’s just the local paved bike path along the creek at lunchtime.

We need to be thankful, too, for the people we choose to surround ourselves with, whether we choose to be with them regularly or choose to regularly acknowledge their presence within us.

There was an extraordinary man in my early life who shaped much of the person I am today – the man who first got me out on the trails. His name was Don Carre; he was my music teacher in high school, but also (lucky for me) an avid backpacker who advised our student’s backpacking club. I learned so much from Don about organizing trips, menu planning, wilderness ethics  – even climbing knots. I remember less about playing the tympani for him than I do the fundamental grounding – and desire to be out there – that he left with me.

Don, I’m in here this morning, wishing I had another moment to hike out there with you.

So long, Don, 'til we hike again.

So long, Don, ’til we hike again.

From the San Jose Mercury News, Saturday, September 23, 2006:

1937 – 2006
Compassionate teacher, sensitive musician, devoted husband, avid mountaineer, skilled woodworker, passionate sailor.

Don was born in San Jose to Bill & Helen Carre’, raised on a fruit ranch in Campbell, graduated from Campbell High School and SJSU with a major in music education. He married Carol Carpenter in 1960 and began teaching at Buchser High School in Santa Clara in 1962. He was band director there until 1983, when he taught choral music for a few years.

When computers arrived on the school scene, he switched to that field and ran the computer lab at Santa Clara High until his retirement in 1998. He also initiated the Buchser Backpackers hiking club as an offshoot of his experiences as a leader with the Youth Science Institute summer program.

In retirement, he and Carol completed remodeling their home, spent 6 summers living on a sailboat on the east coast, and enjoyed traveling. He lost his valiant battle with colon cancer on Sept. 12.

In celebration of his life, there will be a gathering of friends and family on Sunday, Sept. 24, 2006 at 1:30 p.m. at the Redwood Estates Pavillion in the Santa Cruz Mtns.

He is survived by his wife Carol, and brothers Bill, Larry, & Bob.


P.S. Thanks to Dave Hibbert for passing along the news.


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