Sunday, August 28, 2016

Hello/Goodbye

It has been an up-and-down kind of week.

Our new folks have arrived and it's all looking good. Their enthusiasm for the camp is awesome (it's hard not to be enthusiastic when you first pull into the parking lot, isn't it?) and the team as a whole is working well. I may have stories to tell at some point ... and I think my new neighbors need blog names. Not sure what those will be just yet.

The bigger story this week, though, is also the sadder story. Larry Burkhead, a fantastic gentleman and a friend of the camp, died early Tuesday morning after a multi-year battle with mesothelioma. If you read the linked obituary you can get a good feel for what the world is now missing -- a kind, giving human who was active right up till the very end.

He started a volunteer group that came out here on a regular basis (the aptly named Mountain Men) and were largely responsible for two renovated bathrooms, a stack of new bunk beds, and the dining room floor, among other things. My own favorite story, though, has a lot more to do with his [excellent] sense of humor.

He was here multiple times with other guest groups that used the space for meetings. The first time, he forgot a towel -- a fact that I may have razzed him about later on, since he was such a frequent visitor. The next time he was staying overnight, I left the brightest, pinkest bath towel I could find on a bunk with a note that said "Just in case."

After the group left that morning, I found the towel still folded and an addendum to my note: "No thanks -- there were enough paper towels. :)"

Thank you for everything, Larry. We miss you already.

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