These photos are from a backpacking trip I went on with John and Joe in the mountains above Bridgeport, CA. That area of the Eastern Sierra along the CA-NV border is one of my favorite places on the planet. This must have been sometime in the mid-late 1990s, a few years after Joe and I were teammates and roommates at UC Davis. I still remember what a fun trip that was going through beautiful country with great company. I have a clear image in my mind our first evening out, when we were sitting on the ground at our campsite with the alpenglow lighting the granite crags above us and the smell of pine resin all around from the hot afternoon that was passing into twilight. The three of us were just talking and relaxing and breathing in the mountain air. It was such a simple thing but it was one of those moments that make me happy to be alive and thankful for the gifts of friendship and fellowship.
I first met John and Kay when they used to come to Davis to watch Joe's games. I remember how friendly they were and how they immediately treated me like family since I was a friend of Joe's. It felt like how things are here in Hawaii, where family is a very expansive concept -- everyone is an aunty, uncle, brother, or sister, regardless of whether you have any blood ties. I really enjoyed getting to know John over the years and hear so many amazing stories about the places he had been and the things he had seen on his journey through life. For all of his many accomplishments as an innovative educator and community leader, what I will remember about him most is his kindness, sincerity, and loyalty. Those are the things I value most about people in any situation, and John exemplified all of those virtues. I'm grateful for the time that I got to spend with him. A hui hou -- until we meet again.