My family spent many vacations with his family at their home in the 1970s. Many of my memories of the 1970s came from these extended family gatherings and Eric’s hobbies. Experiences build memories and shape characters and how we understand other people.
I’m lucky to have many fond memories:
- Eric was the first person I ever knew who had a woody wagon.
- I likely wouldn’t have know the grandiosity of Neil Diamond’s Hot August Night if not for him. 🙂
- His commitment to hi-fidelity was rather legendary, though I was too young to really care enough about his reel-to-reel tape deck. But I expect I developed my affinity for what would later be known as lounge music from his music collection.
- Growing up in suburban Vancouver, I found the cherry trees in his actual backyard to be always a mystery and a delight. And bottle backyard cherries were always a treat when they came down here for a visit.
- We spent so many summer days on Gyro Beach, both families, learning what the Okanagan is really about.
- And as much as we played with toy trains at home, the train set in his basement was always our goal.
- And one of my fondest extended family memories was the entire weekend surrounding his and his wife’s 25th wedding anniversary party back in the 1990s. That was a weekend that crystallized childhood memories from the 1970s into the adulthood of most of my cousins.
Ultimately, he, his wife Tonny and my cousins, are fixtures of some of the happiest times I had growing up.
And I’ll always lament never being able to have a really long conversation with Eric about set theory and how it relates to Jungian archetypes, depth psychology, what happened to Luke Skywalker in the cave on Dagobah with “Darth Vader” in The Empire Strikes Back, and psychomachia as a motif in literature, or as represented by Muppets.
But such is life!