It is still with very heavy heart when I think of the loss of Damon and his family. I met Damon in 1997 while working for Tulare County when EBA Engineering had responded to our proposal to expand one of the County’s landfills. We developed a professional and personal relationship from that day forward.
Before long, Damon and I realized that we had a great deal in common. We both had attended the University of California at Santa Cruz at the same time. We had printed out our college transcripts and compared them and realized that we were even in two classes together. Not only that, we lived in the same on-campus housing complex and had one dear mutual friend who also lived there. Neither one of us recognized each other and we attributed it to our very 70’s hair and beards.
Not only did we have UCSC in common, but after Santa Cruz, we both moved to Colorado. Again, still not having met and entirely unbeknownst to one another. Damon advanced his education while I was just being a bum. And lastly, my then spouse was an amateur murder mystery writer and of course everyone knows about Sarah’s successful writing career. Needless to say, we were both amazed at our parallel paths and tacked it up to kismet. Damon always said that his first Tulare County project with us solidified his career trajectory.
I never had the good fortune to meet Damon’s family, but Damon and I became not only professional peers but very good friends. He flew me over my house in the foothills to take some aerial pictures and at the same time flew me over the Buck Rock lookout in the Sequoia National Forest where I was then volunteering. It was then that I learned of Damon’s intense passion for flying.
He also enjoyed playing chess with me at the Vintage Press in Visalia where he opened my senses to the lure of a good scotch; Oban in particular.
I still cannot believe he is gone. I can only take a small measure of solace to think that the family perished doing something that they all enjoyed so intensely, and that neither Damon, Sarah or Duncan will never have to know what it is like to live a life without one other.