Saturday, September 10, 2016

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Just a few words about the last couple of days.  We've been focussing our attention on getting out of here and into France.  New plans are to leave on the 13th to avoid overbooked flights.  So we go to Seattle Tuesday morning, out to Paris in the afternoon and arrive on Wednesday morning.  Look for lots of blog posts and Instagrams.  Daughter Caitlin joins us on the 20th for a week of high mischief. Can't wait!

But today, we had a different experience.  The father of one of our friends died two weeks ago.  He was a very charming, funny, low-key and FAMOUS member of the Viticulture and Enology faculty here at UCD.  We met him, his wife, his sons Steve and Stan at Stan's wonderful B&B, Casa de las Flores, the first time we went up to Tlaquepaque, MX.  Although we were much better acquainted with Stan after all our years of staying at his place, we wanted to attend today's memorial to pay our respects to his father.  It was a wonderful celebration of a life very well lived.  There were, of course, his viticulture colleagues who talked extensively of his many contributions to the science of oenology.  Then there were his neighbors who talked about his friendliness and generosity.  And his graduate students, many who have become professors and researchers and the owners and winemakers of well-known wineries, who spoke of his dedication to the science of wine-making and the breakthroughs he made to teaching and industry. Vern and his wife, Kay, were famous for their hospitality to one and all ~ new faculty, young researchers, graduate students, undergraduates.  This  wonderful "host" gift has been passed down to Stan who is a marvelous host at his lovely little spot.

What I took away from all of this was how rich and varied his life was.  And how beloved he was among all his colleagues, friends, family.

The memorial was followed by a gracious luncheon featuring, of course, wonderful food and wine.  Vern, it was a real honor to know you.  God speed, and I hope the fruit of the vine is as abundant and splendid where you end up as it has been here in California.