The internet ate yesterday’s blog post so here we go again.

I had a good long chat with my pal Clarence Ragan. Clarence is 85 years old, a letterpress hobbyist who has been involved in the trade for 70 years. His knowledge of printing and typography is about as deep as one could hope to mine.

Our talks usually revolve around printing, because we’re both enamored with the nuts and bolts of it,  but art, history, religion and politics come up more than a little.

I enjoy our conversations and I hope he sticks with me for a good long while.

As to our most recent conversation, genealogy was the topic of the day.

Looking over a branch of the Shirley Family Tree (of which we’re both connected), he commented on what a shame it was that we knew nothing about the majority of the people on the page other than the day they were born and died.

It’s true for most.

They are born and they die and the part in between is forgotten, unheralded for all but the most notable and infamous.

The only chance at prime material immortality lies in our offspring. We give birth to tiny people and we do our level best to put the best parts of ourselves into them and shield them from the bad stuff.


This got me thinking about Brent of course, about his kids and his first grandchild whom he never got to meet in person.

I don’t know his children as well as I would like. They’ve lost a father who had so much more to give them. I hope that what time they did have with him has left an enduring impression, because Brent deserves immortality in the here and now and not just in the hereafter.

Brent had a big heart and a lust for living. He was a voracious reader, a talented carpenter, and a deeply spiritual man. He loved music and beer and campfires and the ocean, and knives and guns and walking sticks, and slinging dice.

He was a damn good friend and loyal to a fault.

And not a day goes by that I wish I’d have been as good a friend to him as he was to me.



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