Pass the paper bag that holds the bottle

About 3 years ago, i wrote about a reconnection with a long-time friend, JK.  We’d found each other again after a solid gap of five years — and vowed not to let so much time pass between our conversations.

Well… Three and a half is less than five, so i guess we kinda sorta almost got it right.

Known for his brusque style and ability to follow through on projects, he carried a massive workload before he retired.  He was one of my first, and probably most frustrated, mentors.  We made quite a team back in the day!  Me in the miniskirts and stilettos stumping for funding.  Him doing all of the detail work, and keeping me from overselling the science.

Since our last conversation…

He’s finished up the renovation of his home on a lake, more than doubling the size.  Still has the sailboats, he had to give up competing in the national regattas because he’s blown out his knees.

Still painting… “I’ve got about 48 unfinished canvases in my studio”. 

Gardening is now a larger part of his life…  “You oughta see the size of my cucumbers!”

Filling him in on my adventures over the past few years?  On my second motorcycle.  Added a third gentleman to the rotation.  Continuing to attempt to learn to ski – and failing miserably.  Horseback riding lessons have been more rewarding – and far less painful.  Certified as a Master SCUBA diver last year.

JK:  SCUBA?  One of my brothers is pretty serious about that.  I’ve always been curious.

daisyfae:  It’s easy on the joints!  i’ll dive with you…

JK:  …

daisyfae:  And don’t you dare say it!  Don’t you DARE!  i dive with folks in their 60’s and 70’s!

We’ve each got daughters living abroad – mine in Turkey, his in Central America.  Sons pursuing arts and trades.  Everyone healthy.  Balanced lives – at least for the moment.

As we were planning our next lunch, and i prepared to go back to the office, he mentioned that his son is a finalist in the International Glass Prize competition in Belgium.

JK:  I don’t have much presence on the internet.  I don’t “tweet” or facebook or anything.  It’s some ‘popular opinion’ prize, in addition to the adjudicated prizes.  He could win grants, fellowships and shit…

The plan?  To continue the conversation in his double kayak once the weather warms up a bit.  i’m pretty sure i can talk him into taking out the sailboat again, too…

There are some remarkable works here – and if you feel compelled to cheer for a very talented young man, his work is entitled “Bottle”.  One vote per unique ip address…