It’s 27 years ago this month that Allen died, and of course i still have keepsakes to keep his memory green even though over the years i’ve given most of them to friends and others have simply worn out from daily use.
Which means that those remaining are more treasured, so i was upset when, at the end of my move from my former home on Noe Street last November i was in such a state of total exhaustion that i was unable to detach from the wall the spice rack Allen had made for me in 1980.
Not that it was a piece of fine cabinetry, since it consisted of walnut stained pine 1×4’s fastened together with finishing nails. But still, it looked good and was eminently practical, so i hated to leave it.
But then the other day i got an email from my former landlord Bob saying he’d managed to get the thing off the wall and would like to deliver it to me.
After a friendship that goes back to 1974, he knows me well, so he mentioned in the email that he expected my reaction would be that i wanted to pick it up at his place to save him the trouble of delivering it, but that his hidden agenda in wanting to bring it to me was to see my current apartment.
So of course i said Yes, and a few days later he came by with it in his arms. The delivery turned out to be a thoroughly enjoyable visit.
I made coffee for us and gave him the Grand Tour of my two rooms, and we sat and talked for three hours, catching up on what had been going on in our lives, the repairs and refurbishment he and his partner, Al, had been making on my old flat, and my dissatisfaction with my new apartment and plans to move to Petaluma.
He also revealed that getting the spice rack off the wall had damaged it, it being rather flimsy, and that Al had painstakingly restored it and had replaced all those finishing nails with screws, greatly strengthening it while preserving the original appearance.
I was overwhelmed with their kindness.
Here’s a floral tribute.
And of course the spice rack, back in service although not attached to the wall.